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Soar your spirit


Brenda DeLauder Columnist

  It was a winter overdue. After so many mild ones, it was our turn for one with a little more punch. While winter isn’t over, happily little hints of spring are becoming more visible every day. Our daffodils and crocuses usually begin to bloom in late January, but this year everything is a little later coming up. The ground, now softened by the melted snow and ice, will soon be covered in new growth. The birds are singing more readily during the warmer days and it won’t be long before the swamps will be filled with the sounds of peepers and bullfrogs.

  One of the signs of a season change I watch and listen for in spring and fall, is geese and sandhill cranes making their way north or south. Last year was a disappointment in both seasons as we seemed to be off their route. I was hoping to hear them during the recent Bird Count Event, but sadly I did not. There is something about seeing them that helps me move forward into the next season.

  Today while at my desk, I opened a window to enjoy a surprisingly warm breeze. A short time later, I heard a noise and realized it was coming from the sky. The cooing sound belonged to a flock of Sandhill Cranes. Racing outside I didn’t have to search long before seeing a large group of at least 150 cranes directly over me. After they passed over, but still within sight, they changed leaders. The smooth V shape soon looked like a big black cloud while they circled around getting a new order established. As I stood there watching, a breeze blew a small feather to me. I laughed when I realized I was standing in the middle of the street with a huge grin on my face. I love enjoying God’s nature. This sighting today was a special gift to receive and I felt so uplifted to have had the privilege of enjoying it.

  In watching birds, I think one of the parts I enjoy the most is in noticing how they take care of each other. Of course it’s not all good, but even the birds with the bad reputations aren’t all bad. Granted, growing up on a farm, I know crows can be very bad, but they are also very smart. And while they too harm smaller birds, they often are their protectors. This morning I watched two crows chase away a red-tail hawk. It was rather entertaining to see them dive-bomb their enemy. One morning during the ice storm, I noticed a large hawk sitting on the back fence, yet all the birds were coming to the feeders without hesitation. Usually once a hawk is spotted, they stay out of sight and remain quiet. I moved to another window and saw the reason for the “no worries” attitude. Sitting in the trees between the hawk and the feeders were the three crows I call the “regulars.” The birds at the feeders had their soldiers on guard and felt no fear.

  Bluejays are also not looked on favorably and they do bad things to other birds, such as stealing their eggs. Yet often they will knock seed out of the feeders down to smaller birds on the ground. They also play the part of a protector. Numerous times I’ve observed them chasing away other predators or scream warnings of approaching snakes and kitties. They make great “watch birds.”

  Within all of God’s creations, good things can be found. Having a bad day or need a break from stress? Go outside and take in the nature around you. It can do wonders for your spirit! 

  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.



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