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Time To Get In Tune With Nature

View from Hickory Heights

Now I wake up listening to the birds sing. I really like that. When I was alone, I used to take my coffee outside and watch the birds. Now that I am married, we sit by the table and watch the birds as we eat breakfast. I have relocated my birdfeeders so they are easy to see from the table.

We have a pair of cardinals that regularly visit the feeder. The male is so cute. He gets some seeds and takes them down to feed his “wife” who is waiting nearby. He takes such good care of her. While he is eating, often there is a rose-breasted grosbeak at the feeder, too. Today I saw his mate. She was helping herself to seed.

Last weekend we saw our first oriole and our first hummingbird. The hummingbird is a regular visitor. He sits on a pole that can hold a feeder, even in the rain. Then, he flies to the feeder for a drink. Sometimes he visits the oriole feeder as well. We have not seen his mate at this point but I am sure she will be around.

Out back on a drain pipe a tree swallow has made a nest. We worried that her eggs would roll out the way it was being built. The pipe slants. Not to worry she put very high sides on the nest and built it up so the eggs will not roll away.

There has been a tufted titmouse coming to the feeder, too, along with sparrows and wrens. We are having a great deal of fun watching the birds. The feeders are on our porch so hopefully they are out of the way for any bears in the area. A gray squirrel tried to get to the feeder. It was really funny. We watched him try to figure out how to get to the food. There is chipmunk that comes to a pan that is on the porch to catch the seeds the birds lose or throw out. He is getting quite a bit to eat that way.

The oriole has not been back as far as I know.

Don has another feeder down at his house and he has orioles. He made a fresh batch of syrup this week. I have seen the oriole fly by, but he has not stopped. I wish he would get used to coming here because it is fun to see him.

We are still seeing the deer so it is not time for their babies. I look forward to seeing the fawns. Right now, they are kind of rough looking as their winter hair falls out. I think they look the best when it is strawberry time. By then they are really pretty.

The spring green of the trees is so pretty. It is a very light shade of green. Trees are leafing out so I can no longer see the neighbors. Even a tree that fell over during a winter storm has leafed out. There is enough dirt on the roots, I guess to support the beginning of growth.

The dogwood is in full bloom. I have two of those in the yard. One is prettier than the other one because there are more blossoms. I know the legend. The tree will not grow large. Aunt Evie really liked the dogwood. I think of her every time the trees blossom. I also think about my first husband because he brought the trees down from our pasture and planted them.

My rhubarb is ready despite the late frost we had. It killed some of the leaves, but not all of them. I can hardly wait to cook my first batch of sauce and make my first pie. Should I make strawberry rhubarb or rhubarb custard? I will decide when I am ready to do it.

I see our former daughter-in-law’s goat babies. She posed them in her sink for a picture and posted it. They are so little and so cute. The cows down the road have not yet begun to have their calves. We always watch for those. They stick by their mothers for a while. When they are moved the mothers really make a lot of noise. My daughter says that she hears them from her house.

The lawn has now been mown twice. It could have been mown three times but when you are using a lawn service you have to wait. It looks good now.

Yes, we had snow on Mother’s Day at Hickory Heights. There were flurries in the air but none of it stuck – thank goodness.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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