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Spring’s return reaffirms sustaining ecosystem

Spring’s return reaffirms sustaining ecosystem Spring’s return reaffirms sustaining ecosystem

This is no April Fool’s Day joke. The sun is out as I write this. The trees are in bud, and the birds are singing. Spring is here! Never has the hope of spring been more in need than it is this April 1.

In the past few months, as you are too aware, a devastating new virus zoomed onto our planet. Southern Indiana has not been immune to the havoc this coronavirus has caused in our daily lives. Don and I are fortunate that we have no demands that take us out of the relative safety of our cabin.

But, we are not separated from the terror that has overtaken life as we know it. Separated from the physical signs of the pandemic, we are none the less affected by the life-threatening conditions it has brought. Indeed, we are all connected via television, internet and telephone. Trying to be informed and responsive to the latest advice, we watch the news for hours. Thank goodness for the great outdoors to bring us back to the positive message of spring.

So, might I encourage us all to open the door and go outside or sit by a window with a pair of binoculars and enter into the wonders of nature? I hope you have a private yard in which you can commune with life in the outdoors. If not, we have many terrific and fairly isolated public spaces in which to bask in the sun and open our ears to the chirps of frogs and toads and the calls of active birds.

Have you walked the paths along Indian Creek lately? How about a stroll in one of our county parks? Hayswood Nature Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Battle of Corydon and South Harrison parks are all open, filled with wildflowers and bird songs.

O’Bannon Woods State Park is open with the gate fee currently waived. It is so big and diverse, you won’t have to worry about distancing from hoards of other folks.

Bob Sawtelle, the park manager, told me he sees a good side in our need to social distance.

“People are rediscovering nature,” he said. “Families who grew up camping are returning to the happy days of their youth and bringing their kids along.”

All the hiking trails are open, and the superb handicapped trail is waiting for you to take an easy walk among early natural growth.

My blue bells are coming up on the hillside outside the kitchen window at our farm. Yesterday, I even noticed some tiny blue buds forming. If it stays warm, I would expect they will be spectacular in about a week or so.

Take an old-fashioned car ride and spot the array of blossoming trees. Particularly, the white pear trees are gorgeous.

The Canada geese are nesting along ponds, and we have even seen a few of those colorful wood ducks.

The view of nature changes every day, and that is the excitement of having a big block of time as most of us do now. To follow and track the growth in life outdoors is so affirming of the rich and amazing ecosystem that sustains us.

Happy watching, folks. Don’t forget your binoculars to bring the distant sites into your view and a magnifying glass to see tiny things up close.