Spring is definitely here, now, and in the countryside that means an orchestra of bird twitter and bleating lambs. Our neighbor's sheep graze occasionally in our little pasture across the path from our gate, and you can hear the lambs' pitiful little wails as they search for their moms. Some tiny little birds -- I don't know what they are -- have a rich repertoire of birdsong, and this morning, they were twittering, trilling, peeping, and tweeting back and forth with such gusto, I couldn't help but wonder how such tiny things could sustain such a chorus. There is such a range of sounds, too, and call and response, I have the conviction they actually have a language.
Visually, the wonders also continue: Along roadsides, the Spanish broom has started sending up white sprays of blooms, like lacy fans. The neighbors have been planting potatoes last week, taking turns helping to plant each others' fields. And everywhere the grapevines that have been cut back are starting to put out the shoots that will lead to this fall's wine harvest. In Monforte, the wisteria hangs in long, purple and pink garlands from stone trellises in the park. Usually there are swans on the river, but I haven't seen them yet on this trip; only the geese and ducks -- and their little ducklings.
Mornings are cool, then warmer, and afternoons are downright hot, with a sudden chill when the sun goes down. The skies range from clear blue, to buttermilk-cloudy, to opalescent sunsets, to star-studded nights. And always a slight hint of mist, either lurking low in the grass or vanishing into thin wisps as the day draws on, or drifting in again sometime in the night.