Field Notes: Early Spring Delights


Feb 5: The past is always present

By Jess

How transparent and unashamed a forest is of their past. How unafraid they are of death. A forest sheds many skins, making their bed among decomposing bodies and limbs.

Death feeds life. Present consumes past.

A forest has to look at what is painful. A forest must confront the truth of their past. This is necessary in the regenerative cycle of new life.

A forest lives in complete dignity, perfectly rooted in their wholeness. For each tree, although seemingly separate and truly unique, is like a single drop of water whose source is the ocean.

The source is the whole. The larger body of a forest lies underneath our feet. The life of a forest flows through the interconnected web of relational root systems, streaming through mycelial pathways of ancestral wisdom.

We must remember. Our ancestors lie down beside us. The lives of our beloved dead never stop feeding us. They help us to remember who we are and where we’ve come from.

Our roots are bound in the composting bodies of our loved ones. Their bodies become altars; moss-covered resting places in the mothers embrace.

Feb. 10: Fertility of Spring

By Jess & Michelle

One of the sure signs of Spring is the high-pitched chorus of the magnificent SPRING PEEPERS! Are y’all hearing them where you are yet? Wait until you find out what THAT’s all about!

For such a tiny frog, they sure do make a BIG impact! Don’t you think there’s something incredibly magnetic about the vibration of their collective sound? It’s as though they’ve taken it upon themselves to stir the rest of us awake from winter slumber. Truly though, I am fascinated by these tiny creatures and am dying to learn about the energetic influence their healing sound has on our nervous system!

So get this… these frogs actually live and survive all winter long. Wanna know how? By freezing themselves! GAHH! There are only five species of frogs in North America that can freeze and survive and one of them is the spring peeper. As temperatures dip below freezing, these little fellas start producing their own “antifreeze” to help preserve the most essential organs to the point that even the heart stops pumping appearing to be dead.

Scientists still aren’t sure how frozen frogs wake up again (duh, magick), but once they thaw out, most will go through a period of healing before they resume normal frog life. And when they do, they’re ready to find a mate.

This is where the epic chorus comes into play…

All that wild peeping you hear? Why that’s the intoxicating sound of frogs mating of course! Nature’s loving-making is not only music to our ears but I’d take a gamble that it has an arousal effect on our nervous systems too. So basically, the sound of Spring is one big orgy-tastic party that we can enjoy and participate in! The end result? Egg-laying. Can you believe that one female can lay up to 900 EGGS?! If that doesn’t blow your socks off I don’t know what will!

The spring peepers not only orient us to life unfurling, but they also emit healing sounds that get us activated and awake! So next time you hear the joyful song of Spring Peepers, just picture thousands of frogs getting it on!

Feb. 15: Tiny Visitations

By Jess

Today a little tiny spider came out to explore me...

It had been about 10 or 15 minutes of sitting quietly against a large oak tree before a pale little yellow spider made itself known by crawling up my leg. I immediately began to imagine what it must be like to have a gigantic form position itself within my back yard and the utter shock at realizing an immense, yet mobile mountainous terrain is now sitting on my house.

I am astonished at the courage and curiosity this little spider has to come explore the vastness of this new landscape that is my body, and I see myself reflected in this tiny spider who, like all beings, is impacted by changes in their environment.

I wonder....

How long must I sit here quietly before more insects come out from hiding?

How long before a spider makes a home in one of my ears?

How long before a bird makes a nest in my hair?

How long before a furry friend burrows a hole underneath me?

How long before my toes turn into roots?

How long before I decompose?

Go outside and sit in one spot.

How long does it take for an insect to feel safe enough to reveal itself to you?

Feb. 20: Return of the Winged Ones

By Michelle

The time is nearly upon us when the hibernating winged ones awaken to Spring's warming and the return of our migratory friends draws near.

Walking along the ponds edge this morning, my gaze falls upon a hidden, empty nest that is usually camouflaged quite well by foliage. Soon, this empty nest will be filled with life once again... I wonder who will make a home in this bed.

As the days lengthen, the barren body of the landscape is slowly beginning to reveal herself to those who watch closely, courting her every gesture. It won't be long now until buds burst forth from every branched fingertip, and the bulbs poke their heads out of the earth in joyful glee. Soon the bees will be buzzing between flowers doped up on pollen and the butterflies will return from the south to repopulate northern regions. And the empty nest by the pond will soon be filled with morning songs!

With March right around the corner, we will be keeping an eye on the return of the winged ones and we invite you to do the same! The following bird species will arrive in North Carolina from their winter homes in Central or South America sometime in March. Actual arrival times will vary depending on location and, of course, luck.

Here’s when to start watching for these early birds:

Purple Martin – early March