I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Monday, 14 April 2008

how do they know?

Spring has finally looked at its watch, shaken it, realized that it stopped a while ago, gotten up, picked up a couple of dirty dishes on the way, wandered into the kitchen, looked at the one on the stove, checked the one on the coffee maker and wondered why, oh why, are they always three minutes apart? and said, "whoah, I'm LATE!"

Warm days, sunny skies, and the promise of 20C on Friday. I'm holding you to that, Mr. Weather Network.

The huge amounts of snow have disappeared surprisingly quickly, the creek reached the highest point we've seen since moving here, and the birds are returning. Robins are bouncing along, digging worms, worms, worms (a family joke that is now old enough to vote), the red-winged blackbirds are staking out their territory, and the Canada geese are flying over on their way farther north.

I heard them last night as they flew over the house. It was pitch dark outside. It's incredible enough that migratory animals find their way over vast distances, but in the dark? How do they know which way to go (granted, I've seen some of the flocks flying south in the spring and north in the fall, so there's another question)? How can they tell where it's safe to land? Really, that field might look nice by moonlight but what if it's surrounded by hungry coyotes or wolves or sabre-tooth tigers all sitting in the bushes, whispering, "all right guys, here they come!" It amazes me. But then, perhaps I'm just easily amazed.

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