Spring gives everyone a boost and more so than ever this year.

It seems many enjoyed last spring. The early concerns of a pandemic were settling in, but working from and staying put at home was a novelty and a chance to be outdoors, with no other social commitments competing.

The newness of isolation may have worn off fairly quickly, but being in the yard or a park, at a lake or on a trail was still a respite.

This spring brings an elevated sense of hope as vaccines promise a return to normal life. It may be a testament to the adages that without misery there can be no beauty and without sadness there is no way to know happiness.

Warm weather reminds us why we’re lucky to live here as memories of heavy slush and bitter cold give way to a greening landscape.

The shrubs and other perennials that looked like they were begging to be put out of their misery in the winter are perking up, the crocuses and tulips bursting out of the ground.

We’re fortunate to have as many public places to roam as we do — from bike trails to the many parks. At Seven Mile County Park the bloodroot, jack-in-the-pulpit and hepatica are the first to bloom. The trout lilies, violets and marsh marigolds will follow. You don’t have to know their names to enjoy them.

A little girl in the neighborhood, new to mastering bike riding, has been making a block-long circle, over and over. The elderly couple up the street take their daily stroll, walkers ahead of them.

The song birds are raucous with mating calls, staking out territory or warning of predators.

I built a mourning dove nest box and hung it under the eaves, hoping they nest there rather than where they did last spring — atop my step ladder leaning against the side of the garage.

Doves are notoriously bad nest builders. They dropped a few twigs haphazardly on the step ladder and laid eggs on the aluminum top shelf. The male and female doves usually take 12-hour shifts sitting on the nest. They may have missed out on the nest-building gene, but they are successful in raising offspring.

A lot of people hunt mourning doves. I’m a hunter but I couldn’t bring myself to shoot the soft-cooing things. The dove pairs that spend the summer in our yard are always together, landing side by side on the power line coming across the backyard, flying together down to the pond, contently relying on each other.

The Baltimore oriole is in the neighborhood. Neighborhood, not my yard. I’ve been trying to attract orioles for years but to no avail. I have orange-painted feeders with jelly and sliced oranges around the yard — it has to look like a citrus nirvana from the air.

But never has an oriole alighted, although they sing away in the neighbor’s yard. My granddaughter loves to tell me how they have dozens of orioles crowding their grape jelly, no matter where they place it.

It’s as if they have it in for me, but I’ll keep trying. Hope does spring eternal.

And there’s no season on orioles.

Tim Krohn can be contacted at tkrohn@mankatofreepress.com or 507-344-6383.

React to this story:


Trending Video

Recommended for you