I know It’s Here Because …

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz (well, most of the lawn is visible now, kind of dead looking, but visible), and I know where the birdies is. The black hearted, cawing devils made their reappearance last week. I heard the first geese heading north honks overhead yesterday. The birds hanging out at my feeders have a sudden leer in their eyeballs and a certain “hey Gorgeous, wanna build a nest?” friskiness about them. No robins yet, but give ’em time. The snow isn’t quite all gone and the ground is still a bit too cold, er frozen, for robins to have easy access to their favourite stretchy nibbles.

Then there’s the mad squirrel who has taken up permanent residence in our yard again, rather than just passing through to raid the bird feeders before scuttling back to his cosy nest elsewhere. And how do I know that it’s a him? Pshaw, people, a lady squirrel would behave in a much more civilised manner. I know these things. Lady squirrels are cheeky and cute. This little beggar is rude and obnoxious. So, it’s back to the regular scoldings whenever one of us dares to venture outside the back door. Later in the season he gets a lot more bold and comes right up to the back door to stand guard. And to have a good old chew on Richard’s gardening shoes, left outside the back door. He hasn’t touched mine … yet. The day I see tooth marks on my shoes, he’ll learn just who the dominant creature really is in this jungle.

But the most unmistakeable sign of spring is the eye-watering, stomach-turning pong from next door, as the melting snow reveals a whole winter’s worth of doggy droppings. He’s a big black lab, restricted to a small front yard, and his calling cards have been accumulating since early November. Use your imagination. It’s not his fault, as a man has to do what a man has to do, wherever he can do it. But I do wish that his people would do the humane thing and take the poor beast for a walk at least once a day. A big hound penned up in a small yard/smallish house could use the exercise. And his neighbours would be grateful for fewer deposits in their immediate vicinity. I don’t have a weak stomach, but if I don’t hold my breath while opening the front door to hurriedly snatch the newspaper or mail out of the mailbox, the gag reflex lets me know that it’s still fully operational.

So yeah, Old Man Winter has been beaten into submission, and spring is here at long last. The ‘Peg and its assorted inhabitants are coming back to life. I’d shout with joy, but that would require a deep inhalation in advance, and I’d rather not do that just now. Even with the windows closed. So, for the moment, we’ll express our enthusiasm with a whispered “thank the gods, woot woot, whoopee” and so on.

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