Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Birds and the Bees

Well, I've finally recovered enough from my cold to write about the Birds & the Bees, and now I'm just burned out thinking about writing to catch up for the last 2 weeks. I had a lot of ideas for this post in the past couple of weeks, but now I'm just tired, and there is so much to catch up on. However, I'll give it a shot or I'll never get to it.

Spring time finally hit Maryland, and for the first time I think I finally understand what all the fuss is about. I've heard friends from other states complain my whole adult life about how Los Angeles has no trees and no seasons. I always thought we had trees, but I really get the difference now. First of all, there are TONS of trees where I live now, partly because I am near several areas of woodlands. When I moved in the winter, it was just a ton of sticks, but lots of trees nonetheless. However, almost as if by magic overnight, they blossomed. Living near DC, we expected to go see the cherry blossoms, but little did we expect that our very own street would be lined with them. We didn't know what the trees were, so imagine our surprise to go to DC, fight the crowd of millions, and return home to our own cherry blossoms right in front of the house! Note to self: whenever we decide to sell, make sure it goes on the market right before the cherryblossoms bloom! Not only are the cherryblossoms beautiful and look like cotton candy, but there are apple blossoms, and all kinds of other assorted white, pink, yellow, red, and orange trees. It's so darn colorful it looks more like what I imagined fall to be like. And not only the trees, but the flowers. They are so vibrant they look like they were painted in place. And they bloom so quickly. Imagine my delight when the planters we were about to throw out suddenly sprouted with greenery, and tulips suddenly sprang up in the backyard too! Also, the grass is growing so fast we'll have to buy a lawnmower in the next week... We're already well overdue!

It's funny because I am writing this from Los Angeles, as I traveled home for a weekend to pick up my cat and celebrate Passover. And when I arrived in LA, suddenly it DID seem like there were a lot fewer trees, and they seemed so plain and just green. The flowers didn't seem as bold and really seemed forced. For the first time I wished I was back in Maryland. The fact that we're finally painting some rooms and making the house more for us also has helped matters, although there are people I very much miss in L.A. And I guess that for the first time in my life I finally officially lost my room completely and had to stay in the crappy small room also didn't make me want to stay in Los Angeles very long this time around. Not to say I would never want to come back, because there are many reasons I may also want that in life in the future, but spring really is incentive to be somewhere "spring-like," now that I understand the terminology. (Ask me again in August or December and we'll see how I feel about Maryland then!... But I digress.)

Back to spring... Some of the most interesting things about spring are how we have all these neighbors I didn't know existed. On the first beautiful day, suddenly all of these people are out. Kids and families are riding bicycles, people are mowing lawns, Home Depot bags of lawn waste are piled high on the curbs, everywhere you go they are selling annuals and perrenials. Everyone is planting, jogging, mowing, smiling, active... They just popped up out of nowhere! And it's not just the people, but the wildlife I've mentioned a few times before.

The other day, we were startled by the motion detector again and quickly looked outside expecting to see deer, but saw a large raccoon crawling his way over our fence. At the cherryblossom festival, I even saw my very first muskrat, chomping at the blossoms the tourists were throwing into the Tidal Basin. But mostly it's the birds. There are just so many of them. From the bright red cardinals to the black and orange birds that I'm embarrassed to admit took 2 weeks before I made the association with the baseball mascot and realized that they are Orioles. Duh! We even have a mama and papa bird outside the bedroom window that have been guarding a nest, and we are eager to see when the babies might arrive. And babies are definitely arriving. We saw a momma with her 9 baby ducks swimming in the Tidal Basin when we went to see the cherryblossoms. And when I was driving to the Costco a couple of weeks ago, I saw a a pair of geese with all of their babies in a center medium. I was worried for their safety in the middle fo the street like that, but on the way home noticed there was in fact a sign posted for duck crossing! Since we've moved here, we seen hawks and even a vulture. We even witnessed the tail end of one event which truly put the circle of life into perspective.

[Here is the point where I last saved my draft... and the computer erased the rest of my blog... Honestly, I'm too tired to recreate it all... so excuse the brevity in the rest of the post... This is why I often complain that I hate computers...]

After viewing the cherry blossoms, we were walking back along the National Mall, when we saw a crowd of people in semi-circle, hovering around something apparently interesting. As we approached, we saw a large hawk (a friend of mine said it might have been a falcon, but I'll call it a hawk for now) sitting on the ground among all the people. I never would have thought this majestic bird would be so bold as to sit among all these people, but there is was. Then people were talking on cell phones, I assumed to tell their friends about this amazing creature before us. But the conversations sounded more like this:

"Hi... you'll never guess what I just saw!... We were standing here on the Mall... We were watching this beautiful grey squirrel eating something out of the grass... All of a sudden this hawk dropped down out of the tree..."

Anyway, I had already snapped off about a half dozen pictures before I really realized what was going on! Thinking about it after the fact, I should have known that hawks don't have naturally red beaks, but I digress...

Along with the birds and the flowers, of course, come the bees. And we have several bees swarming the entrances to our home, just to make sitting out on the deck a major challenge. The bees, like I'm told of most insects out here, are very large. These gigantic bumblebees look like relatives of "The Fly." But the birds and the bees, for the good and the bad, make springtime truly special. Of all the things we've seen so far, I think spring has been the most amazing experience I've had since we moved.

5 Comments:

At 3:54 PM, Blogger ForestRane said...

I'm glad you live in enough of suburbia to see spring. Spring and autumn in the East were the things I missed the most when I left (a million years ago). And Every spring I would think it more beautiful than Autumn and Every Autumn I would think it more beautiful than spring.

The green grass and trees in SoCal are colorless compared to what you get on the East Coast. And Cherry Trees on your own street!!! I'm so jealous. So, where's the pics?

 
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