Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dirt Season

I have been planting my Spring vegetables!! Outside I have planted potatoes, onion sets, sugar snap peas, lettuce, carrots, radishes, and beets. Inside I have tomatoes (6 different varieties), eggplant, broccoli, parsley, and peppers. I love this time of the year. My husband calls it dirt season because I have so many trays of dirt lining the kitchen cabinet. It is dirt season for the children too! As I am called to the garden by the smell of the refreshed soil, my children are called to every mud hole. Laundry is now a wet, muddy blob. As they say in the picture book Toot and Puddle -- It is mud season! The joy shining on their faces as they walk towards the house completely covered in mud is a priceless gift of the season. Spring is definitely in the air.

The birds feel the change too! I can barely drive for all of the birds swooping and darting in front of the car. My yard is full of robins, cardinals, sparrows, finches, blue jays, mockingbirds, and red headed woodpeckers. I haven't seen the first brown thrasher, blue bird, or downy woodpecker, though I am sure they are near. I just haven't seen them yet. We are far enough South that most of the common backyard birds are near year round. I can't prove it, but I think they winter in the swamp (at least the parts that haven't been logged). The swamp seems warmer and still growing in the winter. On the warm days the birds fly out and see if it is time. Again, I am no expert, but I do like watching for the arrival of our friends.

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