In Our Hearts

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur
Of which vertú engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye,
So priketh hem Natúre in hir corages,

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.

Canterbury Tales, The General Prologue

Yep. It’s that time of year again.

April showers bring May flowers.
And, far more important, warblers.

Like this handsome palm warbler I saw yesterday.

I am hitting Mount Auburn on Monday with my cousin Yvonne.
She has always been a huge Jimbo Fan.
(This is us doing up Capri in the Swinging Sixties.)

Check out her groovy haircut!
A wristwatch? How quaint.
And that leather Man Purse totally rocks!

Plus the case for my Sears 8x40s.
What woman can resist a man with binoculars?

Speaking of which, I was down by Mount Auburn’s Willow Pond the other day.

When two young women (at this point, aren’t they all?) interrupted me while I was scoping out a flash of yellow.
(It turned out to be a goldfinch, not a warbler).

The brunette wanted to know what I did for Warbler Prep.
I turned her on to the Cornell Ornithology Lab’s totally fab website.

The blonde asked me this question:
“This bird keeps waking me up at 3am.
Could you tell me what it is?”

If I had been thinking straight, I would have said:
“That sounds serious. I think I should come over and investigate!”

But the warblers were bending my brain.

Later on, I thought of the lines from Chaucer:

And smale foweles maken melodye,
And little birds make melody

That slepen al the nyght with open ye,
As they sleep all night with their eyes open

So priketh hem Natúre in hir corages
Because Mother Nature pricks them in their hearts.

Even in a cemetery, birding is a social activity.

People went to Canterbury out of a spirit of religious pilgrimage.
But they also got together because they were single.
And wanted to mingle.

I was over by Halcyon Pond yesterday.

When a young woman came up to me to point out some interesting bird activity on Indian Ridge Path:
“Someone is doing a dance and wants some attention.”

Now wasn’t that friendly?

This will be Yvonne and me on Monday.

We are a very excitable family.
Italians. What can you do?

My buddy Mike Festa also grooves on the warblers.
They love to visit his garden this time of year.

I told him to keep an eye out in the next few weeks.

We obviously enjoy spotting warblers down by his Buddha Pond.

I still think about that black-throated blue we saw a few years back.

Who the hell would ever forget that?
Mike has even seen the hooded warbler at his pad.

Man alive, I would go plumb loco!

Saturday is May Day. And I will be at Mount Auburn.
Along with quite a few other excited individuals.

On our special pilgrimage.

Enjoy your own particular rites of spring.
And I hope you really feel it.

When Nature pricks us in our hearts.