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Into The Outdoors: Mother Nature’s Music

By Chris Henderson

Just about everyone loves music in some form or another. For some, it’s the great classics. Others like soul or jazz. Rock and Roll will always have its diehard fans. This week, let’s open with another form of music which, in many ways, is superior to any of the aforementioned forms. For want of a better term, let’s call it Mother Nature’s music.

The other day, while driving along the Allegheny River, I heard some beautiful notes wafting in the air. A closer look revealed a tiny bird sitting in a tree, singing his little head off. He was a bit too far away for me to identify him, but his song was a genuine treat to the ears. I don’t know if he was singing to attract a mate, or if he was just in a good mood, but it doesn’t matter. His song indicated to me that spring is just around the corner. Of course, as I am in the process of writing this, there is not just rain, but heavy rain, in the weather forecast. This will make the river worse than it already is.

Although they are drifting back in ever increasing numbers, I have yet to hear a robin singing. When that starts, it’s really hard to stay gloomy and sad. Hopefully, they’ll tune up before too long.Some folks have seen them already.

The male red-winged blackbirds are in full voice now. In fact, it’s hard to go near a river or swamp without hearing their melodious trilling. These little guys have, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful songs of all birds. Even so, the male cardinals will be singing soon, and they will give any bird a run for their money in the song department. Even the honking of wild geese sometimes reaches a level of harmony which is pleasing to hear.

And now, for what I consider to be the most beautiful music in nature. That is the singing of the spring peepers. It always seems to happen at least once in March. There is an old saying that the peepers will sing once. Then, they have to look up through the ice, meaning a cold snap. Then, after that, when they sing, it signifies that winter is really and truly over. That sound is something to which I look forward eagerly each and every year. If I last as long as my father, I will hear them two more times.. Since we never know how long we are going to be around, we are wise to savor the special moments when they occur.

On the fishing front we would, in most years, be fishing for suckers by now. As of this writing, however, the river is extraordinarily high and muddy, and if the forecasts are to be believed, it’s liable to stay that way for quite a while to come. As it is now, if you were to cast your bait into the river in Brady’s Bend, it would be all the way to Kittanning before you knew it. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the river is truly too high to be fishable.

This pre-spring period of time certainly has its share of bad weather, but it has its good points as well. When you have an opportunity, get out there and enjoy it.

I am considering a new outdoor activity. Here’s a hint; they do a lot of it in Louisana. More next week.

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