The Northwoods Spring

“As I walked back toward home, the grouse was drumming on its log and the frogs were tuning up in the little pond. The killdeer were quiet now and the blackbirds had gone to sleep, but I heard the song of the hermit thrush, the clear violin notes that in a little while would make every valley alive with music. Spring in the north was worth waiting for and dreaming about for half the year”

-Sigurd Olson, The Singing Wilderness

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A Silent Spring Evening

The northern forest was alive last night. The boisterous calling of the frogs in the ephemeral wetlands was almost deafening. Nearby three hermit thrushes sang the most beautiful song in the north in my opinion – it pleased me greatly to hear them for the first time this season. In the creek, the geese honked far away, likely discussing their nesting plans and where they should settle down for good. Even a pair of trumpeter swans could be spotted gliding gracefully across the creek. As the night approached, a few beavers began milling about in the water, searching for high quality food to replenish their fat stores. Every once in a while, a beaver would catch my scent and with give a resounding smack, slap the water with his tail to alert his comrades that danger was near. Unfortunately, they could not know that I meant no harm, that I was only there to appreciate and enjoy – to savor every last drop of stillness and beauty that I could. The spring moves fast in the north and all life is bustling to make the most of the few short, snow-free months. Yet in the bustle solitude and stillness can be found, and the soul nourished.

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©Tom Gable