The Drumbeat of Spring

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Calendar spring is less than a week away but, around here, we are closer to early spring than late winter. Which doesn’t mean winter gives up without a fight. Yesterday, we had cold rain which turned to slightly freezing rain. Good thing that it only froze on trees and not the roads and wasn’t enough to cause any major disruptions. It was a good day to stay in and I even debated about leaving the mail in the box overnight but eventually decided to go out get it.

After struggling to get above freezing yesterday, we are headed back into the 50s today and then 67 tomorrow before falling back to 48 on Friday. This is why average temperature means nothing at this time of year. The competing air masses are leaving me with a pretty bad sinus headache and that could make tonight’s lesson fun.

We also had fog this morning and you know I love fog. All of a sudden, I heard this drumming sound. With enough woodpeckers around, I figured that was the source but I couldn’t see the culprit. Went outside and finally saw a Flicker on our chimney doing his solo on the metal screen over the chimney. Outside the sound was just like tapping on metal but it certainly reverberated inside the house.

Phil Collins has nothing on him.

He kept it up on and off for about 45 minutes so we got a good show. I know it won’t cause any damage and it is just a bird trying to signal to a potential mate that he’s around and has some good territory. The chimney is a high point and the sound echoed so I give the bird credit for finding the loudest place to announce his presence. I’m only hoping he finds a mate soon so I don’t have to put up with the bird version of Match.com for long.

I do think the ways the birds and other creatures adapt is interesting. Obviously, this bird has no idea what the chimney cap is. But it is metal and it makes a loud noise so it becomes the perfect place to put out his personal ad. If there were no houses, he’d have to be content with some kind of hollow log or branch. It would probably get the job done but I’m guessing the sound isn’t as satisfying as the rapping on metal.

One last little note. On Sunday, the three legged deer was back in the woods behind our house. I didn’t see him until I went out to fill a feeder and then he popped up. This is the second time he’s been back since the snow melted and both times were right as we went into mini cold spells. Not sure if this deer really knew what was coming but something triggered a return for some easy corn. Wasn’t around yesterday and haven’t seen him today. Pretty sure we have at least one more cold, nasty patch coming so I’ll see if he ends up being a perfect predictor.

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