Earth Day 2014! A spring day, and Mallards and wigeons muddle about, while male Red-winged Blackbirds court their harems. Friends gather to put up a greenhouse – like a barn-raising of old! A parade of chickens passes by. Everyone responds to the warmth of the sun. With the job done, we take a moment to relax. And then, a new sound begins to fill the air – scores of Violet-green Swallows, arriving from their winter homes thousands of miles to the south. They swirl and swoop, seemingly glad to be back for the summer. And we’re glad to have them!
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Take Time to Observe Nature
By Chris Peterson
This is BirdNote!
I’d grown tired of winter. Then one sunny day in early spring, friends called who needed help putting up a hoop house – a large, yet movable, greenhouse.
Their home and garden overlook a wetland that in spring becomes an amphitheater for chorus frogs at night. [Pacific chorus frogs] That day, mallards and wigeons muddled about, and male Red-winged Blackbirds courted their harems.
[Song of several Red-winged Blackbirds]
Several of us answered the call and, as with a barn-raising of old, came with hammers in hand, ready to work. A parade of chickens passed by [clucking of chickens]. Everyone was responding to the warmth of the sun.
Then on signal, we slid the heavy plastic over the ribs of the greenhouse and secured it with strips of lath. The job done, we gathered on the porch to soak up the sun. This was unlike us. We’re all busy people who don’t often take time to relax.
As we talked, a new sound began to fill the air. We looked up to see scores of Violet-green Swallows, arriving from their winter homes thousands of miles to the south. As they swirled and swooped, we laughed at our good fortune to witness the moment of their return.
[Violet-green Swallows – flock of them]
“Welcome back,” we called to them. And to each other we said, “We should do this more often.”
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
Sounds of provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Chatter of Violet-green 8622 recorded by R.V. Angstadt; song of Red-wing Blackbird 57916 W.W. H. Gunn.
Pacific chorus frogs recorded by C. Peterson, Marantz II T263.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org April 2014 Narrator: Mary McCann