April 12, 2009 12:45 PM

It’s Easter Sunday and I’m standing on the back deck behind my mother’s house.  I watch the variety of birds that have arrived at the numerous feeders.  A Black-capped Chickadee, the boldest of them all, comes to a feeder right by where I stand.  I see a bright crimson male Cardinal on a branch not far away.  Young Hairy Woodpeckers are walking up and down an oak 20 feet up.  Another Woodpecker lands on a feeder of his choosing, takes away a nut and cracks it on the side of the house.  A Nuthatch carefully plucks a seed, returns to a tree and eats the treat standing upside down.  All of these birds watch me carefully, but decide (correctly) that I am not a threat. I stare at the trees and notice the changing color of the forest.  Those Red Maple buds are changing the scene from gray to red one day at a time.  I can see spring slowly creep in – despite the cold bite of the wind – and the increasing strength of the sun marches on.  A Goldfinch comes to get his share of seeds.  His pale yellow-green winter coat is giving way to vibrant yellow plumage.  The grass promises verdant possibilities.  Even I have spent enough time in the sun to notice winter’s pallor giving way to summer vitality.