May is my favourite month of the year. It is the month of natural miracles; when trees fill with emerald green leaves over-night; when trees burst into white, pink, yellow or purple blossoms in the course of a sunny day; when straw-coloured fields are transformed before our eyes into seas of green.
Every day, there are new, but fleeting, spectacles to feast our eyes upon. The cranberry tree in my front yard is dripping with wine-red blossoms; the dogwood bushes are capped with flat, round bouquets of white flowers; while the lilac bushes in my backyard have filled with purple or white spikes of fragrant flowers. It is magical; a feast for the senses.
The trail by the creek has changed as well. Straw-coloured fields have turned bright green; wet marshes have filled with dark green reeds; bare, grey tree trunks have filled with leaves that dance in the breeze and glow with sunlight. The walk along the trail has become shady and cool under leafy umbrellas that join the marshland to the forest with an aerial canopy of branches.
Early spring birds, such as Red-Winged Blackbirds and Mallard Ducks, are now joined by later migrants; each with its preferred habitat. The small, bright Yellow Warblers and Common Yellow-throats flit among the bushes calling out incessantly with their signature songs. The tree-tops are filled with the beautiful tones of Baltimore Orioles, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks and American Robins. On the tree trunks, we see Downy Woodpeckers, and their rarer cousins, the Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, searching for insects. In the open fields, Eastern Kingbirds perch on top of grasses, hawking for flies. Belted King-fishers fly back and forth along the the length of the creek, scooping down to grab small fish from the water. In the evenings, a lone Great Blue Heron fishes from the creek’s bank, while its stalky cousins, the Night Herons, roost in the tree-tops overhead.
We walk this trail quietly and attentively; our eyes seeking out movement and shapes; our ears searching for songs, calls, bills pecking on wood; all of which tell us “who is there” and where to look. It is the season of sun and song; of life and love; of magic and new beginnings.