, Newburyport, MA


March 29, 2013

Nature rolls out welcome mat for spring

Well, finally, here we are with weather predictions in the high 30s and mid-40s, snowflakes or not.

I marked the change in spring’s struggle with winter by giving up my long johns until next November, a practice I have followed since the Battle of the Bulge left me with consuming appreciation for their warming embrace of my nether parts.

Doubters as to winter’s departure must have been as housebound as I had felt, week after week.

The weekend had been promising, and by Tuesday small, puffy clouds floating in an azure sky beckoned.

I spent the better part of an hour and a half midday to cover a roundabout walk of two and a half miles of Hay Street, stopping wherever stopping appeared promising.

There is walking for walking’s sake, and then, there is walking for discovery’s sake. Usually I keep one eye for my watch during heartbeat checks and the other on whatever I note in passing.

Mothers with baby carriages walking in the same direction as I pass me regularly.

Mothers walking toward me really cannot pass until I have had done with the sharing of the joys of parenthood from what still beats in a well-aged heart.

Nature designed springtime for rejuvenation in all its manifestations, and whatever rules there are in the wild, caution and family planning are not among them.

Breeding seasons are brief, and competition can give rise to turbulence of a high degree, as it was for three male ducks contesting with one another in heady pursuit of a single female that apparently wanted no part of any of them.

We are well into the breeding season — no better proof of that being the presence of a family of otters with babe clinging to its mother’s back and father, brawny and protective, following.

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