We have been working in the yard, turning space that used to be choked with euonymus into beds for planting, enlarging the rain garden, mulching. We have discovered an extensive network of concrete underneath much of the ground cover- in one spot, an old pond and grotto that was filled in when the wife of the man who built the house feared their young sons would fall in it and drown. In another, a 6-inch-thick sidewalk leading up to a big stone cooker where, presumably, they used to have barbecues. We mine the big stones they used for the grotto and move them over to define the rain garden.

Other developments- last night we heard several great horned owls hooting and chuckling. Our friend Hely says that they are probably young asking to be fed. And the Coopers hawks are raising young in the nest in the elm in our neighbor’s yard. We have seen the male fly toward the nest with food and the female come up out of the nest and chase him. Hely says this is because the males have an instinct to bring food to the female sitting on eggs or raising the young, but he also has a competing instinct to eat the food himself, which necessitates her chasing him down to get the food for herself and the chicks.

Time to get out the bicycle again and enjoy the ride to work. Last year I let all the news of distracted drivers and the frequent pedestrian/bicycle/car collisions deter me. But what the hell. Springtime comes only once a year, and it is beautiful right now. And the bees are working.

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