I felt compelled to write a post on a day that only gets its due once every four years.  I had to chuckle a bit this morning as I noted that this is the first leap day in the last three that I am not hosting a rather large parasite that enjoyed dancing about on my innards.  My two lovelies were each born following a leap day -- we actually thought, and dare I say it, may have hoped a bit that the eldest would make her appearance on the 29th.  But, no, never one to be in a hurry, she kept us waiting eight more days (and twelve past her due date).  And she is yet a child that can be still, like an owl hidden among the branches, just waiting and watching, reading or imagining.  She is an old soul, as many might say, content to just be.  The youngest arrived two months after leap day and a week before her expected date, with a fast entrance and a need to show everyone that she was ready to get on with this living thing right from the start.  And she is still always a bit like a little fish chasing after sparkles on the water, leaping out and over the brook, bouncing about the rocks in a rush to get to where she thinks she needs to be.  

So these are my little wild creatures, so happy and fresh, pink-cheeked and breathless from running about outside on this leap day.  This leap day, February 29th, right?  Here in Ohio?  Where it is nearly 70 degrees?  I have the windows open, listening to very confused birds twitter and sing.  We have started to notice during our first year here on the hill the signs that signal  subtle changes as the seasons progress - those zeitgebers that cue the flora and fauna when it is time for an entrance, or a costume change, or to exit stage left.  I need to start noting these in a tangible form (hmmm, maybe this blog will be good for something) instead of just saying, "Oh, the geese are on the move" or "I heard the coyotes calling to each other; it must be close to mating season".  And while we've noticed the lengthening of the day just as well as the birds have, days like this propel us weeks down the road in anticipation of what is to come, but alas, it's probably just an appetizer, because there is just reason for the old adage, "If you don't like the weather in Ohio, just wait five minutes."  I'm sure we'll see the snow fly again before long and feel the bite of the wind on our noses, but for now, I'll open the windows and watch the wild animals playing outside.
 


Alisha
02/29/2012 3:05pm

And here I thought I was the only one that noticed February marked the beginning of skunk mating season.....hmmmm birds of a feather....ah nevermind.

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Monna
03/02/2012 6:43am

The one and only time that Jasper got skunk sprayed was on a Feb evening out at Putah Creek - he must have interrupted a date. And the coyotes were at it again last night here. Spring is in the air!

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    Monna Hess, aka the Laird's lady, is a full-time stay at home mom to two spectacular little girls and wrangles all the critters on the farm whilst attempting to promote mud boots and ball caps as viable fashion statements.  She has grand visions of managing to produce some kind of animal products from this little endeavor.  A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, she was an Animal Science instructor at a large university and had not yet completely lost her marbles.

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