Why Bother To Say Good-Bye?

Why Bother To Say Good-Bye?

Whether you knew it or not, Friday marked the last sunset of winter and Saturday, the spring equinox, brought forth the first day of spring. Friday night I said my official good-by to the dark, nippy and bitter season of winter and I was none too sad. 

Farewell

Though warmer temperatures happen gradually, I cleaned out my bedroom closet in a gleeful flurry removing sweater dresses and wool skirts from their hangers and piled them onto the bed. Next, I opened my sock drawer and tossed out my collection of brown, blue and black tights along with the heavy wool socks I use as winter slippers. Scooping up the heavy heap of cold weather clothing, I slowly descended the stairs to the basement.

My clothes closet is too small to hold more than one season of clothing at a time, so I keep a good sized chest in the basement to hold each season’s apparel. It is always a pleasant surprise for me to open this chest and pull from it, a new batch of clothing, especially spring and summer wear. The colors alone cause me to smile. I shake out the wrinkles from yellow, blue, and orange cotton shirts and skirts, and stack up my bounty of brighter and lighter weight outfits. Then I dump into their place, the lackluster tan, brown and black wool skirts, sweaters and socks. Picking up the lightsome load of clothes, I take two steps at a time coming up the basement stairs. With a sunny disposition, I hang up my spring wardrobe. 

But exchanging winter wear for spring wear is not the only rearranging that spring spurs inside of me. Saying good-bye to the dark and frigid season of winter means opening up to the new one with all its freshness, renewal and new ideas. 

In the spring, I’m naturally pulled by the  warmer air to stay outside longer. The sunlight convinces me to sit on the deck and read instead of huddling inside on the couch. The longer amount of light in the day tells me I have time to brush the dust off my bicycle seat and go for a spin instead of plugging in a movie. I keep my eyes open for the showy tulips, daffodils and crocus that will soon pop up around the neighborhood and anticipate the appearance of tiny green buds on my lilac bushes.

Unlike the darker season of winter, spring brings more light, warmer air and an invigorating energy. It calls out for us to take off the heaviness we’ve been wearing and exchange it for the lightness that spring brings. 

Why bother to say good-by to winter? It is worth saying good-bye to the old season so we can say hello to the new one.   

 

Why Bother To Notice Bird Song?

Black-capped Chickadee Adult

Why Bother To Notice Bird Song?

Although there is still a patch of snow on the north side of my house, frost on my deck first thing in the morning, and trees still bare of buds, there are other signals that shout out, spring! Daylight hours are longer, the sunshine is warmer and bird song is in the air.  

Winter Brings Their Silence

There are a few birds that remain here year round, the Black-capped Chickadee, is one of them. In the winter, I keep my bird feeder filled with sunflower seeds for these common and plentiful birds. I like to watch them  flit back and forth from the bare branches of my hawthorn tree to their food supply at my feeder.  But during the winter, they do not let out a peep. 

 No happy chirping is heard during the cold dark months of winter. Instead, the cold season for these little birds is all about survival; eating, keeping warm and not freezing to death. Singing takes energy, something they cannot spare when it is cold. They know that staying warm is priority over making any music. 

Spring Brings Their Music

But when the earth begins to tilt more toward the sun, and the days are longer and warmer,  birds know they have a greater purpose than just surviving. Spring is the season when the male voices are heard loud and clear. Their songs are sung in order to win a mate. 

Some of these Chickadees start singing even before the sun rises. They must understand the competition they are up against and want to be heard loud and clear before the other birds chime in with their songs. Finding a mate is an ambitious  business and the earlier they start singing, the less competition they will have. Dozens of males, singing their song all at the same time, make it hard for one particular song to be heard above the rest. The earlier they begin, the better chance their song will be heard. 

Not only do these little birds chirp to find a mate, they chirp to let others know if they are intruding into their territory. Birds, like most people, prefer raising their families in their own private place and space. 

So why bother to notice bird song that is filling up the air waves? After a long, dark, cold and quiet winter, their chatter is a welcoming sound to my ears. They may be singing out for a mate, but I hear a different message. They are announcing that winter is losing its grip and giving way to spring. And I am grateful for that!