It is Easter weekend and the natural world is coming back to life. With the ice finally melted from the ground, I hiked the trail along the river this weekend.
The river, swollen from melted snow and ice, broils with currents. The trees and bushes are still bare of leaves, the grass is still straw-brown, but the Dogwood bushes have turned wine red.
Two Turkey Vultures circle high over head; black wings silhouetted against a cerulean blue sky. A Canada Goose lies low upon her nest built upon a fallen tree hidden behind the bramble in the woods. The marsh is dotted with pairs of geese; one nestled upon a hummock while the other paddles in the water nearby. The Red-winged Blackbirds are calling from the trees and reeds; red epaulets glinting in the sun. A Mallard Duck stands upon a log in the flooded forest, iridescent green head and bright orange feet reflected in the rust-brown water.
The air is full of sound. Super-imposed upon the deep whir of wheels on pavement from the nearby road, there are persistent calls from Cardinals, Tree Sparrows, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and a lone Carolina Wren that is pushing the boundaries of its kind northward. A Belted Kingfisher, flashing steel-blue and white feathers, flies low over the river.
A dark brown Muskrat sits upon the bank across the river chewing on small twigs; exposed by the contrast it presents against the yellow-brown grass. Further along the river, a Beaver with its wet brown fur, gnaws upon a small log.
Weeks ago, the ground was frozen, the river was covered in ice, and the world was silent save for the low growl of tires on pavement. It is nothing compared to what it will be in a few more weeks, but this weekend it feels so rich. The sights, the colours, the sounds, and the smells of Spring; the return of life to the natural world; and the rebirth of the spirit quelled by a long, dark Winter.