Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Spring Snow

And so the snow came on Friday. And everything that was turning green and starting to grow was blanketed once again, and the robin's song was stilled. There will be time enough to begin singing once more when food is plentiful, as it was before the snow. Fortunately, the crabapple trees, the hollies, the winterberries, and the cranberry bush viburnams still have berries left to provide some measure of sustenance until the ground is bare again and the search for worms can be resumed.

I have been planting our yard for wildlife for more than 10 years now and am rewarded by being allowed to observe the creatures that come. When we first moved here, although the house was seven years old, there was not one tree planted on our half acre lot..Not one. There were three ungainly, upright arbovitaes in front of the house and that was it. Now there are 70 or so species of trees and shrubs on the property, and more than 200 species of herbaceous plants, most being native to eastern Pennsylvania. They have been chosen to provide food and habitat for the birds and insects of the region that have been crowded out or displaced by our unbridled human development.

According to Genesis, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." My heart for wild things and their well-being is my response to this charge, though I recognize that my efforts are second best to leaving valuable habitat intact in the first place. Nevertheless, I hope to make a difference and seeing catbirds, house-wrens and bluebirds raise young, and white-crowned sparrows, red-breasted nuthatches and brown creepers winter here are the happy outcomes of my labor. And I do believe the sight causes God to smile and nod His head in affirmation of my attempts to partner with Him and follow His directions.

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