By Phyllis Galowitz

justphyllisopy  A small patch of snow still lingers on the shady side of my driveway. However, as I walked along Route 28 today, April 12th, I certainly felt SPRING! Bryants Brook noisily gurgled and roared over the winter’s fallen tree trunks, the water poured into it from the melting snow sliding down the hills behind it, and the last rains swept it along.

The birdfeeder that I see from the kitchen doors is covered with newly arrived spring birds. Across the lawn, a Colorado spruce is their hiding place. A rabbit lives there, too. She looks heavy with babies about to be born. Chipmunks scamper up and down the pole holding the feeders. Today I saw one lift the lid of the feeder and climb inside, where he curled up at the bottom while consuming his fill of sunflower seeds. I suppose I should take the feeders in at night or maybe not have them out at all. Last night, what must have been a bear, took it down, along with the suet feeder and a hanging flowerpot, waiting for some new plants. They were lying on the ground, broken and empty, the pole beside them and the huge pot full of rocks that holds the whole thing together. It’s a job to put it all back together. I should know better. I’ve lost many feeders before, but the entertainment makes it all worthwhile.

Lili, my darling cat, and I, watch entranced the busy comings and goings of this backyard life. Friends living in other parts of Andes seem to have earlier signs of spring than I do. My property is in a hollow, surrounded by tree-covered hills casting their shadow. It takes more time for the sun to find it, but there is an advantage on hot summer days when we are 10 degrees cooler.

The tops of the willows are yellow, their leaves about to open and I see a rosy tinge on the mountaintops, where maples are waking up to spring. Not so on my property, though. The trees are still in winter raiment as are the birds, but not for long. Just a few more sunny days and they’ll wake up. By the time you’re reading this, it all will have happened; it’s an exciting time.

My neighbor’s adorable granddaughters, aged 2 and 4, came to visit me, bringing special presents. I opened my hand to receive a snowdrop from the garden from Julia, and as I held out my hand to Abby, it was filled with what she meant to be perfect little round pebbles. You and I know that they were deer droppings but Julia and Abby just moved here from Florida and are learning every day about the wonders of Andes!  ~