It must be either last year’s pair or their offspring because s/he barely acknowledged me. There might have been a tiny civil nod but it looks like Jon and I are now officially part of the scenery. Perfect. Of course, it also means that the window will not get a decent cleaning until June at best (remembering they can have up to nine batches of twins), but a small price to pay for the privilege of front-row seats. I wonder if the robins who raised their kids a few feet down and over in the old euonymus vine have also returned. Even the coyote who cuts through daily is starting to look nesty. It must be worrisome, like opening a cottage, hoping that everything is where you left it the year before.
I don’t remember seeing any nests in the Manitopa maple which was finally removed this week. Yes, there are times when having grown a forest in the back yard becomes expensive, but this is countered by the knowledge that our property now supports far more life. Mind you, there are more beings to worry about. The ancient butternut that we almost lost two summers ago seems fine so far but we hear that these “white walnut” trees are increasingly rare. I’ve found a number of saplings and hope that their parent is a resistant specimen but volunteers aren’t particularly cooperative or long-sighted in terms of location choice. Now that we have an new open space of about 20 x 20 , the big decision is what to plant. I kept a butternut in the freezer so I might try germinating it. If that’s a no-go, then it will be another native tree like a tulip tree or a redbud.
In the meantime, we are surrounded by birdsong. We can hear the red-breasted woodpeckers, though have had no luck spotting them yet. They may be searching for better real estate as our (their) honey locust is on its last legs. We did see our first 1919 robin, who was glumly checking to see if the earth was soft enough to tempt the earthworms up (it isn’t); s/he was wearing a “Shoot, I guess it’s shrivelled crabapples again tonight” look. The forecast actually looks promising but that particular robin was indifferent to upbeat optimism, knowing better than to believe every forecast you read. I however am once again a believer that a world without ice underfoot is possible. Tra la.
P.S. The painting of violinist and dog is at the final glazes stage though lots of detailing remains to be done. I had almost given up hope it might be finished by our show in April at Riverwood. I have just posted updates in “Works in Progress” on my gallery website. The right title still hasn’t presented itself, unless I choose "The Recital." Whatever I call it, the title should evoke a sense of the two of them and their mutual adoration.