Tag Archives: spring

Top Ten Lists – Thinking of Spring

I used to watch David Letterman a lot when I was younger.  I liked his naughty boy approach to humor, and his enjoyment of absurd physical comedy, like dropping watermelons off of rooftops.  Over time, though, I guess I’ve matured a little (it’s barely perceptible), and he seems to have turned into kind of a mean old man.  The episode of him having sex with subordinates at his office didn’t help my impression of him any, but it’s mostly his nastiness to anyone with whom he disagrees.

I still remember and laugh at some of his early work.  He wasn’t afraid to be goofy, and at 11:30 at night, nobody much minded what he did.  He’s on earlier now, of course.  There are other viewing choices that I am more likely to opt for these days.

Nonetheless, Letterman invented and still is the king of the top ten list.  Realizing I can never even begin to match his talents in this area, I submit to you the following:


10.         Late night thunderstorms and the sqawking weather alarm keep people from getting too much sleep.

9.            The first mosquito brings back memories of bleeding scabs.

8.            Lawn mowing fills the void left by no football or college basketball.

7.            Nothing helps cat hair stick to a person’s skin like high humidity.

6.            Plant the plants.  Cover the plants.  Uncover the plants.  Cover the plants.  Etc.

5.            Cardinal outside window cheerfully awakens us at 5am.

4.            Hatred of creeping Charlie in lawn takes place of hatred of certain politicians. 

3.            Chance of major snow storms reduced slightly.

2.            Young men’s fancies turn to thoughts of love, and older guys try to remember what a fancy is.

1.            Road construction.

I hope you enjoyed my cheap imitation of a Letterman top ten list.  I think we should all be grateful that his lists, and mine, aren’t top 20 lists. 


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White Fronted

There is a large cornfield behind our house – except for the years it is a soybean field.  Every spring the middle of that cornfield becomes a lake.  As soon as the level of the creek that runs nearby drops, the lake goes away, except for a small area in the middle. 

So, this time of year, with the waterfowl migration taking place, it’s a good place to check out some birds we wouldn’t normally see.  The cranes started to return last Saturday, and while they’re not in the “lake,” they are in the marsh that’s a quarter mile away.  We can hear them making their pre-historic sounds from dawn to dusk.

In addition to the Canada geese that we all see plenty of year-round, we were treated to some snow geese and a type not often seen here called white-fronted geese.  I would know none of this, of course, except that I live with an ornithologist. 

There are also ducks.  Not an unlimited number, but enough to warrant some attention.  There are divers and dabblers.  Apparently those are the two types of duck.  So, when you say you dabble in the arts, what you’re saying is that you stick your bill in the water looking for algae and other vegetation.  Nice.

Closer to the house there are redwing blackbirds figuring out their territories and finding their mates.  We’ve seen bluebirds, and though I haven’t seen my first robin of the year, I did hear one the other morning.  It was nice.  In a month or so I’ll silently curse them for waking me up before I’m ready, but for now it’s nice to hear their songs.

It’s surprising what you can notice if you listen carefully to the world around you.  Even though we’re five miles from the Interstate, sometimes we can hear the traffic zooming past.  Once the races start at Jefferson Speedway in the spring, we can sometimes hear that traffic too.  Now and then, if the wind is just right, we’ll hear a train, and I’m not even sure where the tracks are.

With East Koshkonong Church nearby, we hear the bells most Sunday mornings.  If it’s very still, we can hear the warning siren that is, I think, in Rockdale.  Unfortunately, with a slight breeze, such as you’d normally expect before a tornado, we can’t hear the siren at all.  That’s why we have a couple of weather radios.

The other day we heard some coyotes howling at daybreak.  That’s a chilling sound.  Or, they could have been wolves.  A friend in the area said he’d seen one recently.  Crows have been loudly gathering at a deer that was hit by a car a few weeks ago. 

I guess having the bedroom windows open a crack this time of year helps us hear more of what’s going on outside.  In a way, you could say that there is a benefit in us being a little more open too — hearing and seeing the world around us instead of focusing on the various electronic devices that hold us hostage most of our days.

Maybe there’s an “app” for that…

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Filed under 2010