Springtime changes

Published 2:49 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Now that March is here we can expect to see things changing about every day. In 2011 the humming birds came on March 9 and last year one showed up in the last few days of the month and was by himself for a couple of weeks. I called the lonesome bird a ‘He” because it was mentioned to me several times, by kind ladies, that it had to be a male because he didn’t stop and ask directions. That’s a common belief that we males hear very often, true or not. Regardless of how he got here, the hummers were certain that spring was here or was coming very soon. Mother nature has taught the birds and animals how and when to get ready for the different seasons and it is an inborn trait with them. It would be a blessing if we were given the same guidance and we probably would be if we were not in such a hurry in the years we pass through.

Another sign that spring is here is the leafing out of the pecan trees. These trees very seldom show their new leaves until the warmer weather is here to stay. Experts have said that the pecan trees do get confused every seven years and put on new leaves before the cold is gone, but ordinarily when you see the pecan trees with new growth and leaves you can expect that the cold days are over. Maybe Mother Nature uses those trees to signal all the wildlife of the changes and to let the migrating birds know it was time to start back to their native territory.

Maybe we humans should pay a little more attention to the little things that change in our world like the people did in our area before World War II. Some of the old timers lived off what they could catch, like the fish and other water world creatures or the plants they could raise or the wild vines or bushes. There was a time when all the young folks would spend a lot of time climbing trees that had muscadine vines and after eating all they wanted would bring a lot of the grape-like fruit home with them. Many families, especially in the Cajun part of our area were known to have made wine from these berries and from all reports it was very good wine. Some may still make their wine but it is not a very common practice. In some parts of Alabama it is legal to make wine for your own use and the people there use many different types of fruit for their endeavors.

A lot of the changes we see each year about this time involves all the birds and animals. We have a big holly shrub in our yard and for three or four years an old mocking bird has lived in that bush. He would come up out of the shrub and take a perch on one of the protruding limbs. This was his territory and he protected it from all the other birds and when the robins came in the area he kept them all away from our yard and even the street in front. He spent most of his time either in that spot or up on a telephone wire. But this old fellow was part of the wild life and subject to be a meal for some other form of wildlife and now he is gone. There are several cats that roam the neighborhood and we see feathers very often where one of the cats has caught a bird. Cats are no longer hunting for their meal every day, but their old nature comes to light every so often. One fellow would go and buy ice cream to feed his four cats every evening and they really liked it and looked forward to the snack, but they would catch mice almost every day and never made a meal of them, just played with the little mice. They were tame and were really spoiled parts of the family but they did remember the old ways.

We all like to see the season changes and the different weather that brings many changes. One of the changes we may not be happy with is the daylight saving time that starts today but it’s here.

Let’s be thankful for our seasons and our blessings.