Small bits of green are peeking up through the surface of the ground. They’re fighting their way past the leaves and gunk left over from fall. It’s a sign that spring is arriving at last.
Today I got to experience another sure fire sign of spring; a trip to see the ducks. This trip starts with the first hint of green and lasts until the oranges and reds make their appearance. It is a time that gives us a break from the daily grind and opens the door to a world of simplicity, a world of nature and its bounty.
It starts when the ducks first come back and take over the lagoon. The geese are quick to follow, honking and bullying their way around the folks that come to catch and release any of the fish I’ve never seen. We start in the wagon at the end of our driveway, the anticipation building. Down the street we wheel, estimating how many ducks, geese, and frogs we will meet on our way around.
Once we arrive the exploration begins. We park our wagon and walk, hand in hand, transformed into scientific observers. My favorite time falls in two parts. The first is when we spot the frogs, swollen, huge, and green. Lying so lackadaisical that you can almost pick them up. The second is after those frogs seemingly disappear and are replaced with countless babies. They perch themselves on the edge of the water and wait until you are about a foot away before they leap another foot through the air and splash into the water, legs splayed in every direction. It never fails to bring a gasp from me and a belly laugh from my compantion that echoes out over the water and prompts the next three babies to take that same leap.
This daily meandering around the lagoon is a time to explore nature. But more importantly, it is a time when it is I to Maddie, mom to daughter, hand in hand, scientist to scientist. As she grows older the noticings change but the anticipation, appreciation, and wonder keep building and before I know it, each day I’m relishing in the words, “Mommy, let’s go see the ducks!”