We've lived in this house for six years. In that time, we've removed grass and weeds from probably 5000 square feet, planted hundreds of plants, and hauled many, many truckloads of leaf mulch from the Takoma Park DPW. This is not a complaint...it is good work, restorative work for us and for this tiny piece of land. (Plus, it serves as propagation for our landscaping business.)
All this time, we've also been studying the world of nature: reading books and going on walks with other people who know about lots of cool stuff and looking things up for this blog...and just watching and listening and spending lots of time outdoors.
And then, sometimes, everything just seems to come together.
The flowers are blooming, and a sphinx moth is feeding on them.
Woodpeckers are visiting the feeder. (They've found something nearby to drum on that has the timbre of a marimba, much better than the metallic tone of our gutters.)
A bess beetle comes out from under its log and starts walking across the yard.
A yellow-rumped warbler stops by to take a bath in our pond.
And an oriole comes and starts taking nesting material from the old flowerstalks.
Somehow, knowing what all this stuff is makes us appreciate it all the much more. We know how hard it can be to spot an oriole since they're usually up in the tree canopy. We know that funny drumming noise is probably one of the woodpeckers that we've been feeding. We know that the sphinx moth's larval host plant was probably the muscadine grape vine in our garden.
And all this, dear friends, is another reason I love writing this blog every week. I hope we've helped you appreciate something you've seen this spring a little more by knowing something more about it. We'd love to hear about it.