Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year’s pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
– Spring by Thomas Nashe from Summer’s Last Will and Testament, 1600
That poem reminded me of the mockingbird that resides in my garden each year. This morning I listened to him run through his repertoire. I tried to imagine where the various songs came from, the forests of the South? a barnyard? I thought I heard the peeps of baby chicks mixed in with the songs of warblers. But truthfully, I have no idea where each sound impression came from. Today I was entertained, but on some summer nights the constant serenade is annoying.
I first noticed the mourning doves in early March- their coos are always a part of summer’s song for me.
Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shed
Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine round me spread
Of Spring’s unclouded weather,
In this sequester’d nook how sweet
To sit upon my orchard-seat,
And flowers and birds once more to greet,
My last year’s friends together.
– William Wordsworth, from “The Green Linnett”
I haven’t seen as many cardinals or robins this year. We reduced our cat population and only have three, although they are the mighty Nimrods of the feline world. I’m sure they have been a bane to the songbird population here.