It's a sound that will stop me dead in my tracks, and turn my head like dog on point. The song of the Wood Thrush. Frozen, I listen waiting for the silence to break, half worried it might just be my imagination. There it is again, the ethereal notes echoing through the woods and across the yard.
I drop my shovel and make a beeline for the thicket to the east of our house. I pause and listen. It is still far off. The song is a bit choppy. A few notes here and there. Maybe it's just warming up.
I follow the fence up to the road and straddle the gravel shoulder. Slowly I advance afraid I might scare it off, but the dense brush that hides this solitary performer must also obscure me.
Now the song really picks up, and I am happy to provide an audience.
My mind drifted back to when we first visited our new property. I opened the door of the realtor's truck, and as I stepped out I heard the call of the Wood Thrush, one of my favorite (if not my top favorite!) birds. Just a solitary note. Nothing more, and since that hot July afternoon I haven't heard a peep. No surprise there as I know it is a migratory species. But, I have long wished to live in a place where one could walk outside and hear the trill of this passerine. And for the past eight months, I've also hoped that first impression of our new property would not be the last. The ee-oh-lay was certainly a good nudge saying, "This is right", and let's be honest, a small reason why I signed the closing papers.
I started the short trek back to my planting, and throughout the day I was tickled pink to have it performing a natural oratorio with the ensemble of vireos, bluebirds, and gnatcatchers.
I'm happy to live on an earth and happy to garden in a place where I can go outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer.
Happy earth day, gardeners.