Well, it's certainly not the Alps, here in west-central Ohio, although we are lucky enough to sit on top of a ridge here in the land of lovely flat farmland.  But even Julie Andrews would have to agree that the amount of music in these hills this morning is rather remarkable.  Taking advantage of this unusual warm stretch we're having here in mid-March, the girls and I enjoyed our Sunday brunch al fresco on the back deck and could barely hear each other over the incredible amount of birdsong from the woods.  An amazing private symphony being played just for us and our dining pleasure.  And I am sitting here right now, thanks to the wonders of a laptop and our home WiFi, while the smaller offspring points out the ten or so male cardinals as they flash red amongst the still bare trees that have just the slightest tinge of green, a sign of those lush leaves yet to come.  So far just in the last hour we've spotted: cardinals (a plethora of them it seems, but maybe it's just because those red coats are so showy against the dull early spring background), blue jays, carolina chickadees, goldfinch, house sparrows, titmice, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers and even passing crows and turkey vultures (aka buzzards).  We all three just sat quietly for a while with closed eyes, listening to the chorus of birds singing from every direction of our outdoor amphitheater (no small feat for the very busy three year old, let me assure you).  The elderly apple tree just off the deck is also harboring beautiful mint green buds, nearly ready to burst forth with those lovely fragrant blossoms.  The girls are excited at the prospect of their own apples, but this poor old tree is mostly show and little action, probably due to it's advanced years and neglect until just last year.  But we just couldn't bear to cut her down when we thinned the patch behind the house.  So, she stayed and her main job is to hold a large bird feeder.  The girls like to think that it makes the old granny tree happy to be the center of so much attention from the birds.  I can also see just a bit further down the hill, a beautiful haze of my favorite color of lemongrass green.  Unfortunately, it's due to the very unromantic and unwelcome invasive asian honeysuckle that threatens to overtake the entire 40 acres (along with the invasive bittersweet and autumn olive).  The best feature of the honeysuckle (aside from the lovely green color of it's early leaves) -- the goats *love* it!  And because of that, we *love* the goats!  Which means it's time to move the portable electric fence and let the girls go at it!  Good goats :-)

I'm sure the Laird will be sorry to have missed this gorgeous morning here on the deck when I get the chance to talk to him and tell him all about it.  He is on a bit of an adventure today -- exploring his way around Edinburgh, Scotland (methinks he is taking this "Laird" title just a bit to seriously).  His high-tech job takes him to the UK quite often as they have an office in England.  Today is a rare down day, so he has taken advantage of that and took the high road (or was it the low road) and made it to Scotland afore me.  I'm trying not to begrudge him too terribly much, but I am expecting a nice gift upon his arrival home next week!  

So for now, I think I'll have another cup of coffee and listen a bit more to the sound of music in these particular hills that I'm so lucky to be perched atop -- along with all my bird buddies.
 





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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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