Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Evening

There were frost warnings for last night, and temperatures are expected to hover at the freezing mark again in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
Isn't this always the way when spring has lured us on with balmy days that have hastened
the blooming of flowers and fruit trees!
Our strawberry plants and blackberry thicket are loaded with blossom and with set fruit.
J. gathered up an assortment of tarps, a car cover, black plastic; I contributed some old quilts and rugs.

Willis and the tortie girls came to help, Willis leaping into a sheet of heavy black plastic which J, had just succeeded in draping over a section of berry bushes.
A light but chilly wind has snapped sheets on the clothesline today.
We've kept a fire puttering along in the fireplace, to the delight of the cats who have alternated between their fenced yard and the cozy spots near the fire.

Leaving the shrouded garden we ate supper and I came in to my desk.
J. appeared waving the phone at me and muttering about 'a bird.'
He handed over the phone and son-in-law M. demanded that I 'come down quick and bring your camera.'

He and G. were waiting in their yard when I drove in as dusk gathered.
They were gazing up into one of the big maples, so I did likewise--no bird.
They led me up the hill behind the house and stopped at the edge of the woods, stood smugly waiting for me to spot whatever it was.

Suddenly the dark patterned shape splayed in the weeds made sense: a nesting woodcock.

I tried a zoom shot which blurred.
"You can step closer," advised G.  "We did and she didn't move."
The beautiful bird was motionless as I tip-toed reverently around her.
I could see the slight flutter of her heartbeat.
I longed to touch her feathers--but I knew better.
I'll go back tomorrow and try for a clearer photo in daylight.

In the wooded tangle of the hillside honeysuckle is in bloom,the scent sweet in the chilly evening.

G. pointed out yellow iris blooming in the dark green weeds--the remnant of a former owner's gardening.


  1. I have never heard of a woodcock, I will have to look that one up. How fun to find a nest on the ground. I hope your tender plants survive the possible frost.


  2. Great photos of the woodcock. And isn't that just like April, first rain then shine, first warm then cold. Well summer will come....eventually.

  3. They're beautiful birds and - sadly for them - taste absolutely wonderful too. Great to get close enough for photos.

  4. I loved the woodcock, you must have been holding your breath!
    I did enjoy seeing Willis yesterday too.

  5. I have never seen a woodcock, not sure if we have them over here.
    Look forward to some more shots of her.
    We have common sparrows nesting in the eves and no matter how many times I look out at them I am always fascinated.

  6. I sure hope nothing was hurt by the latest frost. I loved the evening pictures. How neat to see a nesting woodcock. She has pretty feathers.

    Have a great day ~ FlowerLady

  7. Lucky, lucky you to see a woodcock at rest and be able to get that close. I love that bird.

  8. I can imagine the scent of the honeysuckle - wonderful. I hope all goes well for the woodcock and your tender plants. It is so tricky at this time of year.

  9. Beautiful photos of the nesting woodcock. I hope she and her brood survive the cats!