First robin sighting. Check. First scent of skunk odor. Not yet. First hyacinth bulb poking from the frigid earth. Check. First motorcyclist roaring down the highway with a smile as frozen as the rest of his/her body. Check. The preceding items are part of my mental checklist harkening spring.
Today I watched an eagle attacked by two smaller crows. The sky was a brilliant blue which enhanced the aerial maneuvering. I suspect the territorial fight meant the crows are nesting and watching over eggs or recent hatchlings. (Despite their grand status, eagles can be opportunists when it comes to a meal, and it never ceases to amaze me how smaller birds fend them off without regard to danger.) Another sign of spring? Yep.
Once a year our small fish pond needs to be drained, power-sprayed, and refilled. The pump and filter are cleaned and given maintenance. My husband not only does the lion’s share of this task, he seems to enjoy it. Only when things get dicey, like when he is ankle deep in murky water and trying to catch the fish does he call for help.
Envision the scene…my husband has tools, nets, do-dad parts, buckets, tanks, and water plant pots scattered around the pond. He’s standing on the bottom of the pond, semi-balancing on slippery rocks, handing me net after net of flopping fish. I put the fish in holding tanks then hand him back the net for another go round.
The remaining water on the pond bottom does not smell pleasant. Think of a cross between swamp and killer halitosis and you’re not even close. My husband is immersed in the stuff, and our dog, Booker, has been lapping it up. Yuk.
My husband looks at me and says, “I’m going to start handing you buckets of the remaining water because it’s too thick for the sump pump to process.”
“I love you, babe, but I really don’t want to handle that stenchy muck,” I say in total honesty.I squwintch my face. (If squwintch isn’t a word, it should be.)
“Muck? Muck?” he says. “I’ll have you know this ‘muck,’ as you so disdainfully put it, is a nutrient rich elixir for our plants. It’s like soupy black gold.” He waggles a bucket at me that is so full it’s slopping over. More squwintching on my part.
Just as we’re having a stare-down based on wills, Booker runs off with the big fish net. He looks like a crazed dog-jouster. As I’m chasing after him, I realize having the pond running is another prized sign of spring. Nutrient rich elixir or not, it was the best part of my day. Check.