Spring is most definitely in the air. There might be something in the water, too, because it seems like everywhere I turn these days I'm watching wildlife copulate. Specifically, as it turns out, woodpeckers.
Last Sunday, after dinner at Mandi's parents' house, she and I went for a walk to Latta Park, where I hoped to see some good spring migrant birds. I think we saw 2 squirrels total and, ironically, one male Downy Woodpecker. I was disappointed, but as we walked back I heard an exceptionally loud call from a tree in front of me. I looked up, focused my binoculars, and just as I did I captured two very loud Northern Flickers making whoopee on a branch. Did I say very loud? These two birds were LOUD.
Then, as a little change of pace for the story, Mandi, Lily, and I went to Frank Liske Park for a picnic lunch on Thursday afternoon. As we approached the pond, there were two different pairs of Canada Geese leading little goslings around the grass and into the water. Baby ducks and geese are as much a true sign of spring's arrival as this Iris is, which blossomed in our back yard this week.
As it happens, there was also a female American Robin sitting on her eggs in her nest almost directly above the shady spot where we chose to have our picnic. She was aware of us, but not intimidated. She turned methodically from one direction to the other, both watching for predators and keeping even warmth on her clutch. Mercifully, she did not poop on our lunch.
Last night I took the girls to a park in Highland Creek where I was planning to play basketball with some friends. We got there early because Avery wanted to go for a walk in the woods behind the playground, and as we traversed the fallen trees we heard more boisterous bird calls from above. I looked up to find a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers doing the dirty-dirty on the outstretched limb of a pine tree, and I was thankful Avery was looking innocently at a half-built nest in a tree in the other direction. As much as I think she's too young for the birds-and-bees talk, it would have somehow been appropriate to have had the subject come up over actual birds instead of people. Maybe the woodpeckers are trying to gently coax me into having "the talk" with her. That, or they're just especially horny this time of year.