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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Good Things Come - From My Window 5/25/22

Issue Date: May 26, 2022

Janie Thibodeau Martin

"To those who wait." I returned home last week after two weeks away, and found that spring had finally come to my little corner of the world.

Betty the horse is reveling in the green grass. I have brushed enough hair off her to fabricate a small Shetland pony. Our two gardens are tilled up and await the planting to come soon. Friends post pictures of teeny fawns in secret places, and the apple and pear trees are blooming. I can't help but be filled with joy.

Somehow, in mysterious ways, my gladiola bulbs knew it too. Although they were tucked away in a cool and dim storage room, far from a window, many of the bulbs have a green shoot seeking the sun already.

I always choose something specific to look for as I make the weekly drive to Marinette and back. Through the winter, the lovely evergreen trees laden with snow or ice are often my focus. It's delightful to choose blooming shrubs and trees in spring, and note the lilacs, cultivated fruit trees and free-range shrubs like honeysuckle brightening the landscape as well as my mood.

On my dog walk, the woods reward me with the ephemeral flowers trillium, bloodroot, and trout lily. The marsh is decorated with countless clumps of cowslips, thriving in the wet soil and as cheerful as sunshine itself.

On the dog walks along our gravel road, my wildflower species counts spiked up from zero, and is already at nine. I take special note of the wild strawberry blossoms, so that I can hunt the tiny berries in a couple of weeks.

We had a disappointing winter season at the bird feeder, with both fewer birds and fewer species, but in the last few days we've been visited by show-stopping indigo buntings; brilliant male cardinals and rose breasted grosbeaks. Countless bright goldfinches make frequent stops; and we are treating the Baltimore orioles with citrus, although a pesky red squirrel has also developed a taste for fruit and is a less welcome visitor at the patio. Every one of its visits results in dog chaos in the house, as Ivy and Wolfgang ignore birds but have a nasty dislike for red squirrels.

We've also had frequent avian visitors on Hank Lake although so far I don't think any of the bigger birds have nested. There may be a duck nest or two, though, since they find secret places at the far west end amongst the marsh grass tufts to hide. I absolutely love the ruckus the sand hill cranes make at Hank Lake ?? unearthly, primitive and loud. We have lots of lovely singers among our bird neighbors, but my favorite bird sound is the song of the cranes.

This weekend my goal is to plant the set onions, some radishes and lettuce. I need to sit down and map out the rest of the gardens, one of my favorite jobs. Right now the spring "to do" list is very lengthy, but the strange and wonderful thing I have noticed is even the oldest trees put energy toward making new leaves in spring. With lengthening daylight, my own energy has increased drastically; somehow, it seems easy to keep up with a workload that would have felt exhausting in the dead of winter. I may be aging, but my body still responds to spring like the old tree.

Welcome, spring. You made me wait what seemed like an interminably long time this year, but as you always do, you arrived in your own good time. I will make the most of it, because even a single spring day is too much to waste.

Book I read lately and loved: "We Don't Eat Our Classmates" by Ryan T. Higgins. I had the pleasure of reading this children's book to my five-year old granddaughter and it is very funny. The story centers on a dinosaur, and all kids seem to be dinosaur-crazy. He is mean to his human classmates at school, but the classroom's pet goldfish teaches him a lesson. Utterly charming.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


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