TRR photos by Sandy Long

Lighten your spirits with a good laugh at the creatures we share our lives with—even those who, at times, test our patience!

A dose of delight

By the time this column goes to press, the few lingering lumps of crusty snow-ice in my yard will hopefully have seeped into the soggy earth. The transition from winter’s slow fade to spring’s invigorating rise sometimes

I followed this Northern flicker as it poked through the faded brown leaf litter before flying into a tree where it kept an eye on me. Observing wildlife in their habitat is a great antidote to the doldrums.

seems to drag along, taking our sagging spirits with it.

At such a time, it’s helpful to remember that things are happening all around us in the natural world. Some are easily observed, like the migrating birds blessing us with their jubilant calls; others require us to look and listen more closely. The surest way to experience spring is to take a walk and tune in to all that’s happening outside our homes and places of work.

Pictured are a few things I encountered during a short walk on an otherwise dreary day, and one furry scoundrel who brought a smile to my face as I watched from inside my kitchen. Whatever wonder comes your way, let it lift your spirits, along with my petite poem in praise of spring.


Amphibians are already depositing egg masses in vernal pools in the Upper Delaware River region. Listen closely for choruses of “quacking” sounds as you walk near wetlands. These are produced by wood frogs calling for mates.


The rain, steadily down.

The green and petaled rising.

Trill and flute and fallen feather.

Crackling swelling deep-breathed wonder.


Abandon words.


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