Our geese.

Our summer guests showed up this morning. I heard them honking when I woke up, but I didn’t think it was them. I thought it was another flock flying over, looking for the river, the neighbor’s stock dam or the big lakes east of us.

But the honking persisted.

So I got up from my desk to look out the window and up at the sky where there were no geese, just blue and I thought I’d  gone crazy.

It was possible, seven months of winter will do that to a woman.

I sat back down with my coffee and heard Husband call from the kitchen where he stood with his face plastered to the sliding glass door.

“Look down there,” he said, pointing to a patch of brown earth below the house.

“The geese are back.”

And so they were.

The geese.

Our geese, who spend the summer floating and canoodling with the pair of ducks in the stock dam outside our window.

The sight of those big, lanky birds walking around and honking between the snow banks was a welcome sight. We had been waiting for them to show up, as if their appearance solidified what is still quite unbelievable to us.

Summer is coming.

Summer is coming.

Summer is coming.

And just like spring, I would have loved to welcome this couple a bit sooner, but they know what they’re doing.

This isn’t the pair’s first trip back North. It isn’t their first spring together.

And had they arrived Monday they would have come home to this.

But they didn’t. They arrived on a day that turned into sixty degrees. A day I imagined they spent getting reacquainted with the place and showing the third guy around.

I’ve never seen a third goose. I wonder if he’ll stay?

Husband and I opened the door to let in the sunny morning air and watched as the familiar animals waddled and honked and moved closer to the house. We laughed as the pug stood stoic and protective outside the door, contemplating the size, shape and strength of the intruders before deciding to retreat.

We wondered what the hell our bird dog was doing in a time of such an invasion?

We said we loved these geese and were glad they were home.

We said, it’s nice to see them isn’t it?

We said, isn’t it amazing that they keep coming home?

We said we were glad they were still together.

And then we turned away from the window, back to work,  back to life and into another season together.

Spring’s cast of characters

Oh the coyotes have been howling, like really wailing, outside the farmstead lately and things are waking up around here as the sun shines and rain falls, helping wash the snow away.

And this morning there isn’t a trace of wind, everything’s still and things are waking up…

Well some are easier to rise than others…

Yawn.

Oh, I know in some places, in most places, the blossoms are opening up, green grass is poking through the ground and people are having coffee on their front porch without their wool mittens. But like the bay horse sleeping in the food pile up there, North Dakota is sleeping in. But that’s ok. Coming in slow helps me notice and appreciate each little change, each member of the cast of spring characters…

The geese are passing over, honking their hellos…

and if they’re brave and remembered their Muck Boots they touch down and stay for a bit. These are beautiful, elegant creatures…

Much like their cousin, the Turkey, who have been sneaking around the place lately. Always walking away, blending in with the brown grass because they’re shy like that.

Turkey butts.

Speaking of butts…

My view on my road walk if I’m not keeping my eyes peeled for something better.

Butt…(hehe) you’ve got to love my enthusiastic walking partners itching to shed their winter coats and do some rolling in the mud and slop.

I look up and in the air the crows flap and shriek and perch. I always wonder how they know when to come home…

…and how we’ve lived without them darting through our lives and swooping overhead all these months.

And I’m like a kid in a candy store out here in the spring air, keeping a watch out for the first colors, the first crocus poking through the ground. Ahhh, the crocus, my second favorite thing about spring.

My first?

Babies.

The kind born in the hay…

And the adorable, human kind wearing headbands and tiny hats entered in pageants put on by my small town for the enjoyment of the obsessed baby squeezer, kisser, snuggler and squealer like me.

My friend’s baby E. I can’t stand it, I just want to squish her cheeks.

And now cue the montage of my nephew, Little Man dressed in his pageant best:

Can you say “sweater vest?”

What about “Chillin’ with my ladies?”

Ahh, be still my beating heart and silence my baby talk, you’ve got to love a community that holds their baby population in high regard…

and gives them sashes and a spot on the front page of the weekly paper:

Spring’s here and life’s good in western North Dakota.

Bring on the sun, we’ve been (impatiently) waiting for you…

and we’ll take what we can get.