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Early June

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Early June

I walked out of the house this morning just in time to see a V of geese fly over, headed north. There is something wild and wonderful about hearing them call to each other as they fly. We donít have any geese that are permanent residents here on our property, but neighbors of ours down the road keep a flock and we sometimes hear them in the distance.
We had a huge spruce tree come down in the windstorm this weekend. "How the mighty are fallen!" It took out two good-sized maples when it fell, and some of the high bush blueberries. It was part of the windbreak between our house and the road, near where Steveís dad kept his beehives. It leaves a good size hole in our skyline to the north. We will miss its shelter next winter, I am sure. As is the way of the woods, though, it will soon be replaced and the hole filled in.
Yesterday after I went to inspect the storm damage, I walked back through that patch of woods beside the road. That little nook of our land grows the deep-woods wildflowers, Canada mayflower, starflowers, and Jack-in-the-pulpit, too. Right now it is covered with a delicate carpet of blooms, so thick that itís hard to walk without stepping on them. I caught a brief glimpse of a reddish-brown thrush as it hustled away from me in the underbrush. I am guessing from the color of its back that it was a veery. I have been hearing one singing in the evenings this past week.
One of my happiest memories from childhood is that magical time of the evening when the sun would slant through the trees, lighting them all in gold, and the wood thrushes would begin to sing. We have had a thrush singing here in the evenings for years, from the tangle of woods on the other side of the road. Somehow it didnít sound like the wood thrush of my childhood. Its song is reedier, and higher pitched, without the low introductory notes. But last summer I was listening to the bird call record and realized when it came to the thrushes that what I have been hearing is a hermit thrush, not a wood thrush at all. It is an elusive singer; I have never seen it. But its song haunts my evenings now like the wood thrush did back in Ohio many years ago.