Jason Hawkins Outdoors: All around us bloom the sounds of spring

Mar. 27, 2013 @ 05:57 PM

I did not need a calendar to remind me that spring began last week.

There was no need to touch the ends of the branches while I ran. You know the branches — the redbuds, dogwoods and other flowering trees that are shaking the frost and cold and ever so slowly blossoming.

I did not need to taste the warmth of air from the south whence warm winds blow.

It wasn’t the softness of the earth, the greening around me — no touch, no taste, no sight. To know spring had arrived, I listened.

Soon I will hear the sounds of love echoed from the wild turkey. Yet before a turkey is inclined to gobble on a warm April morning, his cohorts and a multitude of songbirds will warm the ears of those who listen.

It was dark on a recent morning and I stepped into the world and I heard the sound of birds. They were not lonely. They were not sad. They were creating melody and harmony and, I heard spring.

What I heard I was supposed to hear. I am not alone. Seasons change and we age and what may never before have seemed important in life becomes close and when it becomes obvious, it is real.

The sound of spring is from tree frogs and frogs and crickets and they are hidden yet constant during the day and elusive during a warm night.

Recently, my youngest son paused and asked, “Dad, what is that sound?” I said, “Those are frogs you cannot see and the sound of spring, that they make.”

Perhaps the sound of spring is that of life by the water. The sound of spring is that of a reel and the sound it makes while revolving, retrieving, releasing and repeating. There are more than memories soon to be cast or drifted or offered for a fish to bite.

Can you hear the pleasure a child speaks when bait is bitten? Can you recall the sound of a slow, very slow, retrieve and the splash of water and the image of a leap and the sound of spring is an, “Oh, my!”

The sound of spring is the wind through the trees when the leaves are young. There is life in the outdoors now.

The sounds of spring are like the voice of a child on a spring afternoon walk that blends with birds and the wind, no matter the fullness of leaves.

The sound of spring is also the way we talk, too. We talk of weekends, we talk of fishing plans, we talk of places to fish, and ways to fish, when to fish, and we relive fishing memories.

And there is also the sound of silence.

There is a purpose to the silence one encounters while off a familiar path and resting on an unfamiliar rock. On a recent day, I paused and heard nothing of birds or wind or anything else. Even though all was still, I listened and I heard spring.

The landscape is greening. The trees are blossoming. The birds are sounding. The fishing reels are greased. And soon, I will listen for the sound of the turkey, confirming that spring is here.

Enjoy your time outdoors.

Email Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.