Our Town, our nature


  Robins sang a cappella in the yard. The major movement of robin migration is timed to follow the 37-degree isotherm, a line on a weather map showing where the average daily temperature is 37 degrees.

  I listened to the robins. Helen Isabel Moorhouse wrote, "And I think if you listen closely in the sweet glad days of spring. With the song of the brook, the breeze, and the birds, you can hear the flowers sing."

  House sparrows chirped jauntily. These birds are much too interesting to be unvalued.

   A friend retired. Now he has the time to take a cup of coffee onto his deck and listen to the cardinal's morning song. That’s a delightful benefit of retirement that is seldom mentioned.

  I spotted a pair of mallards in a road ditch. A drake has the tightly curled tail feathers, but it’s the hen that quacks.

  A woman from Minnetonka told me that she had grown up in a family that had a crow. The bird pecked holes in cigarettes so that smokers couldn't draw smoke. It was a health-conscious crow.

  In "Our Town," Thornton Wilder wrote, "Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you."

  That’s probably true, but I’m giving it a shot.