What is your first sign of spring in our Northern hemisphere? For me, it’s seeing the American Robin in my backyard…correction – HEARING – I usually hear the familiar song of the Robin before I see them. I turn into a giddy little school girl filled with absolute JOY when they return! This is my nod to the birds that add music and movement to our gardens – WELCOME BACK💚
My mornings always begin early as the sunrise peeks through the eastern window in our bedroom loft. The panting breath and smiling eyes of my two dogs Cali and Max stare at me from beside the bed and I wake up to wet kisses and wagging tails. Our morning ritual of dog breakfast and putting the coffee on is soon followed by a walk outside together to greet the day. I say “Good Morning!” as I step into the yard – sometimes to the trees, sometimes the sunrise, but most often just to the land around me in general, and though it may sound mushy – I am grateful each day for this place that nurtures us, just as Ray and I do our best to nurture it in return.
The air has warmed these past few days and although we still have patches of snow and chunks of melting ice in the garden pond, there is a palpable ‘shift’ all around me as the season moves from winter into spring. I’ve witnessed the gradual return of Juncos and Purple finches over the past few weeks, but I was unprepared for my morning walk two days ago when a flock of Robins and songbirds flew into the surrounding woodland and burst into a beautiful chorus of singing that surpassed all the Angels in Heaven – GLORIOUS! I captured the birdsongs on my iPhone to share with you here – the distant sound of a CP train in the background and towards the end of the recording you can hear the Sandhill Cranes that have landed in the field to the west of us.
Flocks of finches, buntings, thrushes, sparrows and grosbeaks are coming back now and joining our black-capped chickadees that have been with us throughout the winter. They bring with them an air of expectancy as the brown of winter makes way for the lush greens of spring and summer. Nests to be built and songs to be sung remind me there is much to be done outside for a fresh new gardening season.
I can smell the earth now as the ground begins to warm and it makes me feel excited to get my hands back in the dirt and add my contribution to the growth beginning all around us as nature wakes up from the long winter sleep.
It’s quite impossible for me to be anything but lyrical this time of year…I believe it’s called ‘spring fever’ right?! 😀 I succumb willingly to it each and every year…and why not?! I know for a fact I am not alone in that feeling.
SING! I remember road trips with my family as a little girl – I’m going to ‘date’ myself now, but it was back in the days when air conditioning meant rolling down the windows. Driving across the Manitoba and Saskatchewan prairies with open windows meant something special…hearing the song of the Meadowlark in the car as they were everywhere in the landscape along our route. I’d be remiss not to mention the fact that these beautiful birds and other songbirds are lesser in numbers now for many reasons we are all too aware of. I count myself lucky to still hear their songs and others, and ask only that you open to your own honest feeling response at what their dwindling numbers may mean to all of us. I think Joni Mitchell put it well in one line…”Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and bees…please!”
Many years ago, my Mom and Dad came for a spring visit to our property at planting time and there was always lots to help out with in the yard and gardens. We loved those visits, and one spring my Mom brought along her North American Birds handbook to keep track of all the different birds she spotted during her week long visit here. The total came to 21 different types of birds one spring…and I have the list SOMEWHERE in my house probably tucked away in one of my bird books which I will share with you when it resurfaces!
One of those birds, was the Oriole…a rare sight even here back in those days – what a beautiful tangerine coloured bird to behold – and such a lovely song! I’m happy to say we see them each and every year now and they make nests around our property, helping themselves to seeds and insects around the gardens. Why do I see them all the time now? One simple answer…the pond. Once we created that backyard pond it opened the door for many birds, amphibians and butterflies to view our space as a friendly naturescape that they absolutely wanted to be close to.
I can’t recommend a pond enough to you as a gardener – build it and THEY will come. Please download the free guide I put together to help you in creating your own pond…I share a lot of tips and information you need to consider and share all the dirty digging photos from our pond creating adventure…link to that is at the end of this post if you are interested 👍🏼
Springtime is a feast for all the senses. I hope the joy of gardening fills you with wonder in the coming weeks and your plans for your own beautiful landscapes take shape in surprising and fulfilling ways this year! Enjoy the song of the birds as a melodic backdrop to all your endeavours – for truly, they are a gift not to be taken lightly…they sing from the heart. 💚
How I built my pond!
A beautiful water feature will enhance your garden landscape and invite magic into your own backyard...it's easier than you think!