By Michael Suchorsky
This 2nd day of May and I am reveling in sitting on the front porch with a beer watching the glow of the setting sun on the high clouds to the east. At exactly 8 pm frogs begin to sing. This follows a song sparrow singing to my left and a red squirrel chattering to my right as the dozen resident turkey vultures perform their evening gathering over the reservoir. Circling as they rise and drop over several thousand feet before agreeing to follow the treetops out to the point where they roost for the night. Life is good.
Sunday night returning from a very rare stay in NYC, wherein I wander through a blossom-laden, leaf break Prospect Park in a t-shirt (after departing my Catskill home, where I was still maintaining a fire.) I was so satiated by the Spring that was visiting NYC—in conjunction with meeting friends, going to a reading, museums, openings, visiting a friend in a nursing home, and still finding time to purchase accoutrements for my chainsaw before I returned—that I embraced the snow that greeted me on Lew Beach Road, as well as the 2 inches of snow I awoke to on Monday morning.
Now I am reveling in the 3rd day of our very own Catskill Spring, and it is glorious!
This is the 5th day that I have been running around with my chainsaw reclaiming sight-lines for my view-shed before leaf-out. All pumped up on the afterglow of endorphins brought about my labors and accentuated by a beer—my chainsawing payoff. For this reason I do not mind being covered in a hundred cuts, scratches, punctures, DEET, oil, gas, and wood chips as well as a certain pleasure that I dropped several dicey trees in a tight situation. Once again Cabot Mountain, Beech Hill, Mary Smith Mountain., and a couple of closer unnamed mountains have rejoined Perch Lake Mountain in my view-shed. Life is good.
There are regrets: Having to cut down two of the most beautiful butternut trees I have ever seen. Not only were they yielding abundant nuts, but were a continual host to a variety of birds and mammals. Unfortunately, they grew directly dead center in my view-shed and their natural poisoning of the soil was threatening an old friend—a cedar-bark maple I planted many, many years ago. Wrestled with that decision for days, almost threw out my shoulder. A single blue myrtle flower opened today.
The catbirds have yet to arrive, so the robins and doves were the last to sing this evening. The first barred owl just announced its presence as dark closes in. This was followed by the report of a crashing tree that I left in a precarious scenario, not wanting to be near it when it chose its path of descent. A happy exclamation to a productive day.
Spring in Andes, late, yes, but an unstoppable bold celebratory arrival of life—a party that embraces and sparkles.~