Each morning, I carry out my usual morning ritual - I commence my day with my brisk three kilometer walkabout of our village. Needless to say, I seek the solitude here just to reflect and plan my day... which generally speaking, comes easily because most residents here have flown the coop southward to escape the winter cold.
This morning was hardly the norm. As I stepped to the end of our driveway, I was immediately greeted not by the usual quiet... or the River constantly grinding its icy teeth. I was overcome by the cacophony of birdsong all about me. It literally froze me in my tracks!
Most of this new din came from seemingly endless skeins of trumpeting Canada geese everywhere I looked overhead and along the length of the River. Noisy... exuberant... no... joyous migrants anxious to gain their summer breeding grounds. You know these are migrants by their elevation and their unwillingness to hold formation. Spring beckons... and their raucous music belies their need to respond to an inner drive and instinct that has guided their kind each spring for millenniums.
I dawdled along slowly... drinking in all of these new sights and sounds. Everywhere... spring was bursting forth in a single breath. As I passed through the hardwood and pine stand on Riverview Drive... two pileated woodpeckers were verbally going toe-to-toe in an obvious territorial dispute... adding an even higher decibel level to the unending goose strains.
In the final leg of my walk... silence again seem to return- momentarily. The soft chatty voices of a chickadee band followed me... all the time "chickadee-ing" me along the cedar hedgerows. At the parkway crossing into the east gate of the village, I paused to check traffic. A new voice! It was the first plaintive spring trill of a male red-winged blackbird... a certain harbinger of spring's return.
I decided to take a ride into the countryside briefly... to check out a neighboring sugar bush site to see if the sap was running. They were hard at it... so I took a couple of quick photos and was in the act of leaving... when again the sky was suddenly filled with at least another hundred Canadas.
As I approached the van to leave... there on the lawn were three American Robins - my first of the season. If one ever doubted before that spring was in the air... this single sighting was the clincher. I headed straight home to share my discoveries with Deb.
She had announce during our morning coffee ritual that her pal, Mr Chips had re-appeared on our patio and resumed his sentinel stance... glaring inside. At the side door... daffodils and tulips were burst three inches out of the soil... and had been out for nearly two months, due to the lack of snow coverage.
Well... the end of my spring epiphany... and this growing "Epistle... according to St Bruce". I will close out this unexpected post with a couple of photos that I wish to share from my morning adventure. I will offer a sneak preview of a piece that will be completed later this evening. It is one of several paintings that I have been working at... paintings that have been on the back burner for too long.
Happy Spring !... to All!!!
My heart soared to nearly the height at which they were flying!!... Pure joy... on the ground and in the air!!!
Drip!... Drip!... Drip!... Sweet Spring ... dropping in!
Just underway... wood at the ready... voices in the woods. Snow cover light!
"Ken McCutcheon... Sugar Daddy" - oil on raised birch panel 16 x 20 inches
A tribute to a true "man of the land"... a steward... a gentle soul.. a father and husband beyond compare. I salute "You" Ken!! Thanks for the many "sweet" memories and springs that our own family is blessed to have tucked away! Let the Spring Games flow... long and hard!
This is both a portrait of a man...a portrait of a truly unique Canadian cultural activity...and at the very same time a portrait of a way of life.