Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taking refuge (temporarily)

How can one small chipmunk make more noise running through the woods than four or five white-tailed deer? The deer were right in front of me, but they silently disappeared into the woods before I could point the camera; the chipmunks, on the other hand, kept dashing raucously across dry leaves with the subtlety of steamrollers.

I went for a walk through a wildlife refuge but heard more wildlife than I saw. I wish I could identify birds by their calls, but at this point I still have trouble seeing birds that are calling right in front of my face. I saw mallards, titmice, song sparrows, and towhees, but I heard many more birds I simply couldn't see, including a wild turkey. 

It's easier to see wildflowers, especially now that the big showy mayapples are blooming, but I saw only one Solomon's Seal with delicate green buds dangling beneath the leaves. For a while the woods hereabouts have been brightened by bright white dogwood blooms, but they're starting to fade as leaves burst forth and the woods turn green.

Some of that green will be poison ivy, already starting to show itself on the edges of paths and soon to become a nuisance. I've enjoyed my spring treks into the wild, but I can see responsibilities crowding onto the path and sending me back to a busy office. Will I go gentle in that good night? Or would it be better to scramble off raucously like a rambunctious chipmunk?


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