This was a strange spring, weather wise. It remained cool well into mid spring and when it did heat up a few weeks ago, it did so rapidly with very few mild days in between. The rain pattern seems usual except for this. I got caught in a veritable deluge a couple of weeks ago. Ten days before this. It was a veritable rain bomb. From a clear start on the expressway I, along with rest of the rush hour traffic, drove into torrents of rain that reduced visibility by about 90%. After about 15 minutes I exited the expressway to flooded streets. It was a very area specific downpour, I discovered. I drove out of it about 5 or 10 minutes later to my destination where there was merely light sprinkling. It was like a rain bomb. It was a micro burst. Only about 20 miles in diameter, unless I drove through a corner of it. Probably like the one that caused the Maryland floods.
So that was the strangeness about this spring’s weather. The coolness. The late start. The rain bomb that I witnessed. There could have been other rain bombs that I am not aware of, because if the one I experienced is typical, they are small and localized. The same thing could happen on the other side of town without my having an inkling (I generally don’t watch the local news/weather on TV). And maybe the strangeness of the weather has something to do with the relative quietness of this spring. Nowhere near silent, but much quieter than usual.
Where are my birds and my bees? What is going on this spring? True, I did watch robins build a ragged nest over my next door neighbor’s bathroom window. Hatched and now gone for about two weeks. And I did see my old pals the finches poking around one day, but they too made themselves scarce. There are definitely birds in the neighborhood but nothing like last year. The sparrows were numerous. I’ve seen none this year. And the loudmouthed birds that took turns broadcasting their songs last year, the mockingbird and the Carolina wrens, did not return to my backyard. There is a tall CB radio antenna in my backyard. In the spring there are usually birds of various kinds that perch there throughout the day. They would often line up across the top crossbar, sometimes crowding each other out. This year I have not seen a single bird stop to perch there. It is such a dramatic change from last year I have to wonder what has happened? Not quite a silent spring, but a quiet one.
Come to think of it I don’t even hear those choruses of chirping insects that are typical at night this time of year. Even the huge ‘sentinel’ bumblebees that seem to perpetually stand watch hovering near the bushes at my back door made only a brief appearance this spring. What’s going on? Not quite a silent spring. But definitely a quiet one.