Today dawned bright and clear. The mingling voices of the birds out my window signaled to me that the day was going to be fine. Still snug in my bed, I listened to the cheery voices and tried to discern the songs of new-comers back from a winter spent in warmer climates. The new kid on the block this morning is the Louisiana water thrush. That fast-paced, eager little song is better than a cup of coffee for helping me greet the day. Eric and Ira were up earlier than the birds this morning. Ira has always been an early riser, but he’s been a particularly eager beaver the past few mornings because any day now we are expecting the call from the post office letting us know that our chicks have arrived. The call didn’t come this morning, but Ira is certain that tomorrow is the day. This evening he didn’t even want to put on sleeping attire because it would take too much time in the morning to change clothes again. (It might take him all of 15 seconds to change clothes… and for a 10 year old, I reckon that’s a helluva lot of time.) He is beside himself excited to greet the new chicks and to hear their peeping voices. (He is very fluent in the language of chicken, I might add) Our peaceful greenhouse is going to get a whole lot noisier with the deafening cheeps of 175 newly hatched chicks. Ira says crank it up. I say where’s the cotton balls? This time of year, there are so many voices to be heard all around. Voices sing from the trees, the creek, and the tall grass. Voices sing in the daytime as well as the night. The frogs and toads are waking up. The migratory birds are winging in with songs and stories from afar. The chickens are cackling more from the work of laying all those eggs. Once the lambs start arriving, the ewes will find their motherly bleats; cows will speak to calves. There’s never a dull (or quiet!) moment when the springtime really sets in.
The kids and I are currently reading the fascinating Chronicles of Narnia aloud in the evenings or on rainy days. I love the thought of a magical land where the animals speak. In the photo below, I can only imagine the conversation Opal might be having with T.J. (the ram) if this were Narnia. She might be giving him some insider information on how to escape from the barn where I had the flock temporarily corralled for safety from the coyotes and for shearing. (Notice that I said “had”… If only the sheep could hear my voice and listen to my reasons for having them locked up, I’m sure they would skip right back into that comfy barn!!!) As this day gives way to night, the crescent moon hangs low on the western horizon. The songbirds are silent now; early to bed, early to rise. The toads, however, have picked up where the birds left off, singing this day’s final chapter. I’m torn between wanting to put on my boots to go for a little stroll in the dark to soak up some more of the nighttime voices and wanting to hurry up and get to bed so I’m ready to sing in the dawn with the birds. I can hear the leopard frogs chuckling at my silly indecision.