Awaiting the sounds of spring

It occurred to my when I paused from shoveling snow  Monday morning.

The silence reminded me how much I’m anticipating the sounds of spring. I think I’m anticipating them even more than warmer temperatures.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the frequent winter calls of passing geese and the idea of going outside without five layers of clothing is appealing. But I much more want to hear the tweeting calls of robins and long, love-struck calls of male cardinals.

As I finished shoveling I began to think of a special spot in the Flint Hills, just south of Matfield Green and where Chase County and Greenwood County meet.

I’ve written about what we call “The East Gate” before.

Come late March through most of May I love to park at that gate when daylight is just a glowing promise in the east. Most times I just lean against the hood of Ol’Red and enjoy a cup of coffee as I wait and listen.

Even my diminished hearing can hear the twirling calls of cardinals coming from up and down a timbered creek bottom. From two or three groves of sycamores and tall oaks will come the yelps and gobbles of many wild turkeys. Their responses to one another sounds like “the wave” as it rolls and rides up and down the stream.

From the north will be the low, haunting-like “you ol’ fool” of displaying greater prairie chickens. And there will be creaking call of passing wood ducks and noises from at least a dozen other woodland and prairie species I recognize but can not name.

You can bet I’ll be heading to the East Gate some calm morning in about six weeks.

I’ll wear a jacket if it’s cold.