Scott blew Oscar’s cover. Or, more precisely, Scott began the spring restoration of Oscar’s borrowed meadow by mowing sections back to their proverbial studs. Now Oscar, the neighbor’s cat who, despite my protests, spends the preponderance of his time in my meadow satisfying his hunger for birds, mice, voles and frogs, is disoriented, if I interpret circling and circling and circling cat behavior correctly.
Before meadow mowing photos above; mowed below. Can you find Oscar in the mowed shot? Hint: in the middle ground heading towards the unmowed little bluestem.
Early spring brings changes in addition to the annual mowing of rotating sections of the meadow. The Red-winged blackbirds returned in time to be counted in the Feeder Watch Project (mid February). They didn’t start with their reliable “spring’s here” gurgling call until a few weeks later. (Do they await the calendar arrival of spring?) The first American robin came back for St Patrick’s Day; now there are at least three hopping, stopping, listening then lunging.
Days now begin with an hour’s worth of birdsong although the full chorus isn’t assembled yet. The peepers are calling insistently from sunset until well into the evening from the trees beside the pond.
Buds are swelling with the longer daylight, the grass is greening in the rains and the Sanguinaria canadensis (blood-root) is blooming.
But away from the meadow, early spring this year has been like no other. I can almost sympathize with unwelcome Oscar circling aimlessly aghast at what has happened. “His” meadow, like “my” world, has been mowed down. Of course, the meadow will regrow. What are the odds that the larger world will do the same especially in a season? I hope greater than it feels right now.