Driving down my driveway yesterday, I was met with a most impressive sight. A bird, about the size of a small chicken, was strutting its stuff. It was a male ruffed grouse and the ruff, a collar of black feathers around its neck, was puffed out like something royalty would wear in Elizabethan England.
Besides the ruff, its tail was held on a vertical, completely fanned out. Thus attired, the little bird looked for all the world like a strutting turkey, only of a much smaller size.
I watched for a while and finally, the magnificent little critter walked off into the woods. Peace be with you, Mr. Grouse, and may you sire lots of young ones.
But that wasn’t all that happened yesterday. Out by the roadside wetland, I was amazed to hear a chorus of wood frogs in midday. A neighbor said that she heard spring peepers the other night, but I’ll wait and see, or hear, for myself. I think it’s a bit too cold for peepers.
Today, while passing a farm on the upper end of my road, a huge swarm of birds zipped along in front of me, undulating and twisting as one. These were barn swallows and they, too, seem a bit early.
And finally, upon reaching my driveway, a much-anticipated sight met my eyes. The grader has come. Now the worst road in Maine will be, at least for a few weeks (the grader man never digs the potholes completely out and so they quickly re-form), passable to all motor vehicles.
And that is a typical spring day in Waldo, Maine.