First in Flower
... and the elegance of Eastern Bluebirds
The Eastern Bluebird, singing in a flight display overhead, put an end to winter. On that morning, beneath that bluebird, despite the rare birds not far from me here in Vermont, my day was complete. Then came the flowers.
I dare you to name a more elegant songbird here in North America. The soft, rustling warble. The glow from its plumage. And the gentleness by which it goes about its business. The Eastern Bluebird scores 10s all around.
Got a more elegant bird? Nominate it in the comments below.
Other bluebird species — Mountain and Western — tie for second by virtue of their big, wilder, less intimate habitats. Tufted Titmouse, doe-eyed and plaintive in song, might come in third. Chickadees? Wonderful, of course, but more plucky than elegant. Waxwings and Phainopela — yeah, they’ll make you euphoric, but not like a bluebird. Certainly not at the end of winter here in Vermont, where the ice still locked up Shelburne Bay on Lake Champlain this past weekend. The bluebirds at the bay, however, were melting that ice (and given the chance could probably disable Ice Nine). Especially that male who sang for us and landed on that snag above for my pal Josh Lincoln and I to photograph.
As the bluebird warbled, the Silver Maple flowers weren’t quite yet in bloom. So I brought home two twigs — one from a male tree and the other from a female. After only one night in water, they erupted into bloom.
My friend and colleague Grace Glynn reported a Silver Maple in full bloom Wednesday beneath Hubbard Park here in Montpelier. I suspect this is Vermont’s first native plant to flower. (I’d be happy to be wrong. Let me know as well in comments below.) And just now, after our walk here near home, Ruth and I noticed an early Beaked Hazelnut female (pistillate) flower just peeking into the sunshine.
Happy spring, everyone.