Spring has come to Virginia. The state still is closed down and we venture out only for groceries, about once a week. But spring has arrived: we have birds, flowers, warm sun and corona-virus lock-down.

We live in a marina where the docks, moorings and supporting structures have been under construction for about a year.  Staying outside, for example, on my porch, is an ear-bending experience. We have views of massive cranes and hear the sounds of giant generators. But the corona-virus lock-down has made staying at home more than a construction experience.

We have become much more vigilant about the immediate surroundings, and not just the construction.  This year we really saw the coming of spring, and the birds and flowers have been stunning.

The Birds

This year we see and hear the birds. Not that we could have ignored them. Over eighty varieties of birds have been counted by birdwatchers in my neighborhood. I really don’t know much about them, but this year one of our bird houses has been occupied by bluebirds.

They are amazing neighbors.  They sing to us almost constantly, and they seem to chirp to us personally. Every time we go out on the porch and say something, we are greeted by a loud song from some little bird. I’ve never seen the little loudmouth. The song is two notes repeated four or five times, but in a rhythm that sounds very much like conversation. We’ve gotten used to whistling back or talking to the bird.  In the evening we say good night.  It reminds me of having a two year old, a small living thing that talks all the time.

While I’ve never seen our talking companion, I’ve taken my camera to the water’s edge. This year brought some unusual sights. For example, for the first time I’ve gotten a shot of what I think is a young eagle, perched on a pole near my house.  He’s quite young, but has those white head feathers and an imperial beak:

Young Eagle

Young eagle

 

It’s spring, so I imagine that the birds I see are all young.  They chirp loudly and seem very happy. The eagle looked lost, not sure of what to do now that he was atop a tall pole. He stayed there for quite a while. I’m sure he can fly, but maybe he has no nest to go back to.  Eagles fly very high and coast like kites in the air. This one is bigger than a baby, but not fully grown. He’s like a teenager sent out into the world, not sure of what’s next.

I also took a picture of a heron.  We see lots of herons near my house.  They come to fish, and are striking when they dive looking for their next meal.  Here is the heron:

Heron

You can see the heron is also young and thin.  He has a beautiful takeoff and a graceful flight.  He hovers like a helicopter over the houses before landing near the water.

Flowers

In addition to birds, we’ve had to confront the spring flower situation. Since we’re stuck in the house, we have no annual flowers.  I usually plant some pots of petunias and geraniums.  I also normally prepare a few tomato plants in pots. Now I have to be content with the plants that carried over from last year.

We’ve had a very wet spring and seem to get rain every other day, but the weather has turned warm with temperatures mostly in the 70’s. I haven’t fed or watered anything.  We still have three pots of pansies from last fall, and they are spectacular.  About five mums never went away, and one seems ready to blossom (mums in May?). I also have a window box full of some light purple petunias.

We had a profusion of daffodils and crocus, and now a rainbow of irises and peonies, all from previous years. Here is a picture of some cut flowers, a peony and a few irises:

Peony and Irises

 

Coronavirus and Jokes

I’m sure we will survive this pandemic and remember the lock-down as a little overkill. But, like the birds and flowers returning from last year (or never leaving), old jokes are also making a comeback.  Here are some I received last week:

“A dentist and a manicurist married.  They fought tooth and nail.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationary.

If you don’t pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed.”

I hope all are staying safe and healthy.