Spring Chorus

I know it’s really spring when I hear the peepers are chorusing. Last night I stood on the balcony of our motel just off I-70 and heard a familiar sound over the roar of traffic: creh-EK-creh-EK-creh-EK…. The spring peepers, more properly known as chorus frogs, were calling for mates. Closer to the flood rentention ponds half a mile away where I image the frogs are perched in the fringe of wetland, the chorus must be much louder. But here at our motel next to the freeway, it’s a welcome background sound, a soothing tenor chorus of two-note voices calling constantly as each small frog inflates the translucent skin of its throat into a bubblelike pouch, then pours out its call.

I hope the little frogs are successful, and it’s a good year for tadpoles so their chorus continues in this bit of wild habitat surrounded by the Denver Metro area. And I hope that the people who live nearby hear the frogs’ amorous voices, and are cheered by this song of spring, a declaration of life renewing itself as surely as this asparagus spear pushing itself up from roots deep under the soil of our kitchen garden.

Richard and I are in Denver again for more book events: I’ll be talking to Denver’s longest-running book club tomorrow noon with photographer Jim Steinberg about Colorado Scenic Byways: Taking the Other Road, our two-volume set exploring the heart and soul of the state through its 25 designated scenic routes. That’s a private event, but at two o’clock Saturday afternoon I’ll be at Tattered Cover Bookstore-LoDo along with other contributors to the new anthology, Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Gatherers, and Dumpster Divers, edited by Colorado’s own award-winning novelist, Laura Pritchett. We’ll read from the anthology, a practical, poignant, and sometimes hilarious look at how to forage from the abundant discards of our throwaway culture. Join us if you’re in the area!

This is a short post because I was up until midnight last night after picking my parents up at Denver International Airport on their return from a trip to Washington state to visit my brother and his family. They loved seeing family, watching ocean birds on the coast, spotting trilliums at Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, and walking through carpets of arrow-leaf balsamroot, big yellow sunflower relatives with oversized arrow-shaped leaves, in the grasslands around my brother’s cabin in eastern Washington. But at 78 and 80 years old, with serious health problems, they’re just not as spry as they were when they took me hiking and backpacking as a child. So it was good we were there to pick them up and drive them home to their suburban apartment. The truth of it is, I’m not as spry as I once was either, so I’m still tired.

Two bits of news before I close:
If you’re in the Rocky Mountain region and you’ve not seen the brand-new gardening and sustainable living magazine Zone 4, check it out. It’s lively and informative, and the design is a real treat. Also, the summer issue has my essay, “Beautiful Resurrection,” on how we restored our home ground, a piece of blighted industrial property bounded by a block of channelized, neglected urban creek. It’s adapted with some addition from Walking Nature Home.

Speaking of Walking Nature Home, there’s a short, thoughtful review of my memoir up on Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett’s Women’s Memoirs blog. Check it out, and if you haven’t heard the wide-ranging author interview Matilda and Kendra conducted with me during my blog tour, you can listen at the link in the review. Thanks, Matilda and Kendra!

I wish for you all the magic of spring peepers, or however spring presents itself wherever you are. Stop, listen, take a deep breath, and dance a happy dance at being able to participate in life’s ongoing journey!