Monday, May 17, 2010

Exuberance!

During the course of my life, I have never experienced anything quite like the wildly exuberant Cariboo Spring. 

The Land here is rife with Bush growing wildly and encroaching everywhere, with Birds from far away countries trilling their song from each Tree, with Deer and Fox and Rabbit and Squirrel all doing their respective mating dances...some right in front of me.

I guess it is only the Human species who want privacy during their mating dance, because it surely isn't a priority among the Animals.

I have yet to see Deer actually mate, but they show off their offspring to me with regularity. And Fox visited the other day, as silently as usual. I thought she was by herself, but once the coast was clear, meaning no Dogs around, she allowed me to see her family.  There were three kits, I believe, each tumbling over each other in their eagerness to keep up with Mom.

They were outside the fence. Mom wanted to be sure there was no impediment to their getaway, should this be required.She sat in full view with her kits, her eyes meeting mine. It was a look that has passed between Mothers through the ages...full of pride, understanding, and loving patience.

The Mother Fox may have looked at ease and relaxed, as I watched.  But I noticed Red-tailed Hawk fly overhead, and the next time I looked for the Fox family, they were nowhere to be seen. In just a wee instant, they were gone.

The huge Mule Deer have babies as big as an adult White-tailed Deer on the Island. There is a mother Deer here who regularly brings her rather large, still faintly spotted baby for me to admire.  She will leave her youngster among a group of Fir Trees while she browses,  even knowing I am watching from the deck. Should any danger approach,she will be there with her baby instantly. But on this quiet day, no danger lurked, and baby whiled away the afternoon among the Firs

Birds find a haven in the backyard in a pile of brush which is slated to be burned in the Fall, since there is presently a Fire ban. But Squirrel has recently discovered his own hiding place amidst the brush and regularly chases or even kills the young fledglings who seek safety there.


Squirrel will eventually fall prey to one of the larger Hawks who frequent the area.  Hawks have babies as well and there is a very young red-tailed Hawk who lives in the Forested part of our property. I have seen him practice his killing skills...he is not very good at it, as yet. And I mourn for the Birds he maims and who will flutter and tweet, until finally the young Hawk is able to finish his kill. I mourn for the Birds who try and get away, only to fall victim to Hawk's quick strikes, tumbling into the brush with Hawk swiftly in pursuit.


It is completely silent, after one of Hawk's kills.  Even the Insects fall quiet. And then, after a silent signal only Animals can see or hear, a cacophony of twitters, chirps, and buzzing begin once again.


I love to sit on the deck after chores have been completed, find my Bird book and drink my Tea.  It is so interesting at this time of year; many different kinds of birds flock through this area on their way North.


There are a few Birds I do not require a book for, since they are easily recognizable.  One is the Raven, of course.


There are two Ravens who make their home here with us. They love to rile the Dogs, both of whom know if their back is turned, Raven will swoop down and steal a bone. They make the Ravens big in the Cariboo...I doubt if I have even seen one quite as large as the shiny, blackish-blue Raven who believes he rules this place.  He projects a royal presence...a kingly sureness.


Last year, he brought his young.  Young Ravens do not have their father's strong presence...they are comical in that their feathers appear to be growing every which way, they quarrel amongst themselves, they fall off the wire to which they cling, swinging upside down, until they flutter to the ground, still cawing in that young Raven voice. It does not matter.  Parents...yes, even Raven parents, are proud of their young and their parental accomplishment.


On my way to a Hospice appointment the other day, I was completely surprised by two young Eagles fighting over a  Fish. They swooped and swirled, both attempting to fly and hang onto the Fish at the same time.


I was on a deserted highway, right next to a rest area, as it happens. I stopped there, and watched the Eagles as they continued to fight over the Fish. Inevitably, during a tug of war, the Fish flopped to the ground.


Even as young as the two Eagles were, they were big!

They were not interested in me, a mere Human sitting in a car. One Eagle flashed to the ground, and hopped closer to the Fish, while the other berated and grumbled and flopped about in the Air.


And then, quite inexplicably, the Eagle on the ground flew off, along with the Eagle already in the Air. The Fish flopped weakly, and then lay still. Not for long, however. One of the Eagles returned, the other nowhere in sight, and picked up the now dead Fish. He flew off with his prize.


And I drove on with my prize...a feather which had fluttered to the ground during the Eagles' brouhaha.


I am in wonderment when I arrive at my appointment and tell whoever will listen about what I've just seen. But the people I tell are all long-time Cariboo residents...they have seen Animals like this interact for a very long time...it becomes commonplace. But not for me.


Summer will be here soon, and in the dry, hot heat of a Summer's day, the Animals seek shade and Water, find the deepest part of a Forest, fly further North. Spring is bounteous and beautiful here, but it lasts for only a very short time.


I will not see most of my friends again until the Fall, when they will once more return, making our property a stopover on their way South.


I must make sure I stock up on Bird Seed, because the Cariboo Spring and its joyful creatures will have decimated my supply.


And then, perhaps, there will be another gift to me from one of them.


I consider a feather or two perfectly adequate payment!

23 comments:

  1. Your description of a Cariboo spring is awesome and I love your photos. So many exotic visitors you have there! We have a hawk (how I love to watch him soar), squirrels, lots of birds, raccoons, possums, armadillos, and snakes. I'm glad spring has arrived in your part of the world. (My favorite treasure is a tiny Hummingbird feather.) Thanks for sharing your world. Blessings!

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  2. HOLY MOLEY!!! i am ENTHRALLED! EXCITED! THRILLED! MOTIONLESS! REVERENT!

    marion, i could have just as well been there, the way you've shared this. wow!!! how special you are and it is to understand the nature of life, to be part of it as it unfolds.

    i never like hearing about prey even though i know that too is part of life.

    and the meeting of the eyes of Mothers: how well i understand that. i saw that in the raccoon on my Mother's chimney. she was concerned and protective, of course, but i also saw that she wanted me to understand,

    i am missing you. i think it may be time to chat. :)

    love love love
    kj

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  3. marion, I feel like I was observing all of this magic right beside you!
    What wonderment! Thank you ♥)

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  4. Your sense of Springtime joy is as beautiful as the flowers. Glad that you are enjoying the gifts of the season. Take care and thanks for your visits to my blog.
    Diane.

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  5. A wonderfully worded presentation of the wildlife in your area - I was watching through your eyes and joining in your wonder. And such lovely flowers - thanks for sharing the beauty of your Cariboo spring!

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  6. hmmm... wish i could sit at the deck with you, with tea, and watch all the wonderful animals that come visit you :D

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  7. Marion,

    An armadillo! A hummingbird feather! How lucky you are to have both...we have hummingbirds, a large assortment this year, but I have not ever received a feather. But years ago, I found one of their tiny, tiny nests. I almost overlooked it, it was so tiny.

    I would love to see an armadillo in the flesh...to me, they sound very exotic, although probably mundane to you. Although is a sighting of one of Creator's creatures ever truly mundane?

    kj,

    Yes, the Cariboo is totally awesome...in the Spring, especially after the long, long Winter.

    I noticed the look the Raccoon gave you...that is exactly what I see in the animal mothers around me. That was an awesome post, by the way, in case I missed commenting, lol! I find with Spring here, making me busy with planting, and Hospice, I have so little time. I continue to try and make more time to visit my friends on the 'net.

    Lolo,

    Thank YOU, lolo, for the amazing set of cards you sent me. I wrote this post BEFORE I received them; it just goes to show that the Powers-That-Be know where my mind is going!

    Princess,

    Thank you, Diane. Springtime joy...I love that! And as for photos of flowers, you have me beat with the fantastic photos on your blog.

    Pauline,

    I have nowhere near your ability with words these days! I struggle to find words through the fibro and medication fog, but sometimes, even though the writing is not as good as I'd like it to be, the wonder and joy come through nonetheless!

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  8. Alison,

    I wish you were here, as well! We could discuss all manner of things, I'm thinking, while enjoying all those animals!

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  9. Isn't it wonderful to be surrounded by all this and to share your delight and enjoyment of it. So many people just fail to notice what natural beauty is around them. Even in cities there is now so much wildlife to admire. May here is my favourite month because as the Irish say there are 40 shades of green. Seasons just go so quickly, especially as I get older.

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  10. I've come back to this post more than three times already! When I need my heart to be lifted or my eyes opened your writing always does the trick. Sending much love your way....

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  11. Marion, thank you for this wonderful view of your world. I'm so jealous of the eagles. That you got to watch them, I mean. I felt as if I were there, seeing it all through your eyes. You're a fine naturalist writer. Enjoy your spring, however brief, but rich it is.
    Love, Chris

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  12. Your passion for nature is always a pleasant diversion for me for you write so well.

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  13. Oh Marion ~ I just love the way you write. I feel like I'm sitting beside you, learning from you. Spring here is beautiful, lush and .. a celebration! Thanks for all the beautiful garden pictures too!

    Happy Spring ~ Nicole

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  14. I love getting my bird book out to identify visitors. A brown headed cowbird stopped by last week for the first time at the cabin. I am sure they are in the bush all the time, but to have new birds come down around our place is fun. We see very little in the way of larger animals except for an occasional squirrel, mouse and woodrat and once, a large raccoon. I guess the rock wall isn't to their liking. - Margy

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  15. Hey now ... but what of this spring?
    Can one indulge in warm, hot or cold water? Or would one not like to indulge at all for some reason.

    A hot spring would be worth a try, to my way of thinking.

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  16. Dave,

    The YEARS go by really quickly as I grow older, heh!!! And you know what, Dave? I've heard of those 40 shades of green and I believe it now...you would be delighted by the variations of that colour the Cariboo has. And then it all quickly reverts to its normal golds and browns. But in May, it hurts my eyes to look out in the early morning and see the light shine through the green.

    Susanne,

    There ya go...you must tell us if Ireland has those forty shades of green in the Spring...judging by your wonderful photos I believe there are more shades that I can count. May in Ireland, Susanne, must be full of awe and amazement!

    Enchanted Oak,

    Thank you, Chris...next time an Eagle presents me with a feather, it's yours! I shall remember how much you love them.

    Sheila,

    It's always so great to see you!! How's Spring treating you in Batavia? Bet it's wonderful with that grandson of yours...you'll be hitting all the parks!

    Nicole,

    Yes, Spring is quite awe-inspiring here, isn't it...we had so little Snow cover that I've looked at the Winter brown for quite long enough and it is so great to see the green. It snowed some yesterday, but not enough to hurt anything, just a small dusting with rain following. I hope you came through the colder temps alright, up where you are?

    Happy Spring right back at ya!!!

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  17. Margy,

    I love cowbirds. I remember seeing them on the Island as a young girl, but they are nowhere near as prolific as they are here in the Cariboo with its ranches. And that rock wall behind your cabin would keep most larger animals off your deck...I would hope so at any rate, as what on earth would you do with a bear or other large animal if he decided to visit you? Hop in the boat and hope you had a cabin to come back to, I'll bet.

    Goatman,

    Ahh,a hot spring! There are many around, but my favourite by far is at Ainesworth in the Kootenays. I've visited only once, yet I still dream about that wonderful place. I hope you have the chance to soak your bones in a hot spring near to you!!!

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  18. Hello Marion,

    You sure have a gift of making words come alive to paint images in real-time!

    I love watching the crows and their antics. They are so intelligent. I watch them throwing their chestnuts on the road exactly where a car would come along and crush it for them. So entertaining to watch.

    Thanks for sharing such beauty!

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  19. Good morning, Marion. I've actually been by a couple of times to read this and each time was interrupted. This morning was my lucky morning and I stayed with it to the end.

    You know - as I read this, it brought to mind a wonderful book my husband gave to me one year about a hummingbird back east that missed the winter migration south. The hummer settled in at the writer's winter sun porch. It was an enchanting story and I'll check the exact title and send it to you later.

    Anyway - as I was reading your post I could not help but feel that this too would make a beautiful short book illustrated with your photographs, etc.

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  20. It's now evening and I found the book, "Rosie, My Rufous Hummingbird" by Arnette Heidcamp. She also wrote "A Hummingbird in My House".

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  21. Extremely good piece, I enjoyed reading through it. It had many amazing content. I’m bookmarking this web site. I invite you to see my post, I hope you will find interesting too.

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  22. Miruh,

    Yesterday, I saw two Crows fly by and thought of you and the Coast. It's rare for me to see Crows anymore...it is the Raven who has pride of place here. But there are so many similarities between the two, although the Raven is more in your face than the Crow. Both lovely birds, much maligned I think. Thank YOU for visiting!

    Annie,

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's strange, since my next post is about the Hummingbird...when you commented, I thought to myself...how would Annie comment on my new post when it's not posted as yet? So you see how we are connected! Thank you for going to the trouble to find the two books. I will look them up, for sure!

    Radu,

    Thank you for visiting! I will toddle along to your site very soon.

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  23. I don't envy your very cold winters, we seldom get a killing frost, but i do envy the glorious spring that mother nature brings to you to make up for the cold and barrenness.

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