Quiet Spring

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.


  1. Heard a mockingbird this morning. Didnt see it. Perhaps the flamboyant guy from last year is hanging out in somebody elses backyard this year. Last years mockingbird was fascinating. He would sing a variety of songs while perched near the top of the antenna. Periodically he would jump up and flap his wings then return to the perch, as if taking bows for the song he’d just performed. He was crazy.

  2. Speaking of the disappearance of my ‘sentinel’ bees.

    We’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate.


  3. taotesan · · Reply

    I liked your article very much .

    Myself-been walking quite a bit in the forest( which Americans call the JUNGLE ) in Table Mountain.

    For many years now, I had noticed that frogs and bees have been disappearing in South Africa that is.

    If memory serves me correctly,it was on Galapogos,which had (has)different finches on different islands, which helped Charles Darwin develop his theory of Natural Selection .

    1. I loved my little insect friends. I thought they were scary when I moved here five years ago. Always hanging outside my entrance to the house. They were so big! I would hate to get stung by one. But we coexisted. When I entered or exited, the hovering bumblebee would politely let me pass then resume his/her position. We got along well. I hate see they’re no longer around.

    2. Its the dramatic difference between this year and last year thats makes me think something has happened environmentally. Ive been hearing about “5G” this past year. Not sure if its been implemented here. Ill need to check into it.
      Also could be some kind of directed energy weapon bombarding this area. the birds and the bees are canaries in the coal mine. And maybe its just my yard being targeted because, judging from what I hear in the morning, the birds are doing just fine in nearby backyards.

      Its really strange because I thought the antenna tower was irresistible as a high clear perch for passing birds. birds were always perching there, iirc. This was especially true last year. This year I’ve seen one bird stop to perch there. It is as if some invisible beam is keeping them away. If thats so, I am the likely target of the dew.

  4. Hey! I just heard the distinctive brreep of a Carolina wren! Sneaky little fellows. Maybe they got a late start this year. Come to think of it I think they were late comers last year. They may even have a nest in the bush near my back door, because the bush keeps tweeting. Loudly this morning. Maybe the wrens are stealthy and dont start breeping until their chicks are hatched. Clever girl.

    1. though the bush keeps tweeting i have seen no birds fly in or out. and i walk by that bush several times a day. clever girl.

  5. i keep calling these things bushes but they are 8 or 9 feet tall and they could be miniature trees. They have trunks like trees but they are very dense like bushes, just in case someone was picturing a hedge like bush. I dont know what they are but I suppose I must now look them up on the Internet. Sigh. No observation goes unpunished.

  6. My bush was very loud this morning. I dont know whats in there. The only birds Ive seen near it are grackles. So I dont know. Those are some big birds. Would they build their nest in a bush?

    Meanwhile the Carolina travelers are back. They are small very dynamic birds. I saw two of them fighting in the backyard behind mine. Obviously a territorial dispute. They almost flew right into me in one of their disputes last year. Get out the way, human! They are the most interesting birds. Wait a minute! When did I become a birdwatcher? I’m going to have to do another bird post, I see. I might as well make these comments into a post.

  7. taotesan · · Reply

    You must.

    I would like to write like this.

    As a late riser,the past while I have been woken up earlier by birdsong . (And thinking about your finches).

    I must tell you in my past travels, one of my absolute highlights was visiting Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan. I remember the naturalist ,very heartsore, explaning that the Siberian white cranes , on the very critical endangered list , had not made their annual stopover that year because of the American war in Afghanistan.

    Your ornithogical musings are an absolute delight!

    1. lol. birds are not too bright. im going to take a picture. so the robins or another robin came and built a nest right next to the one that just hatched a couple of weeks ago over my neighbors window. heck they coulda just used the one already there!

  8. […] nomad · June 11, 2018 – 2:10 pm […]

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