It is hard to believe that we are in the twilight of April. April with its’ “showers that bring us May flowers” also brought us ample sunshine , enough to make the wild violets bloom. The “Quiet Garden” is full of roses and the oaks cast shade now- because of April.
Now, in the early part of the evening, rabbits can be seen in the spring clover. The country rabbits are shy and suspicious creatures. It matters little to them, that I graciously walk to the edge of the woods to share all sorts of delicacies from the rabbit patch kitchen, with them. I have a large herb garden, just outside the kitchen window. One little rabbit has decided there is not a bit of harm in me, and so he eats a fair share of apple mint, while I am washing the supper dishes. I call him “Applejack”. I have named another one “Cookie” because his fur is especially light. Not yet, have I seen any young bunnies. It is in June, that little rabbits play while fire flies twinkle, and the scent of the honeysuckle is thick in the country air.
I noticed in April, that the days are much longer than just a few weeks ago. I have not seen the sun rise on the drive to work, this week. Instead, the pastures and fields are bathed in bright morning shine. I come home and start supper , as I always do, but now we eat , without the need of the kitchen light on.
The air is especially sweet now. Clover is blooming everywhere. It is all over the rabbit patch. Unlike a lot of people, I do not mind clover. I try not to mow as often when the world is full of clover. Bees love it-and the world needs more honeybees, for more than just honey. As a child, I learned early on to never go barefoot in clover. I was stung many times and eventually I got used to it and did not run in the house for a wad of tobacco to put on it.
I had read that if a honeybee stung someone, they died right afterwards. Daddy, was a beekeeper and he told me that a honeybee only stung if it was threatened. I am sorry to say, that more than a few bees lost their lives because of me wanting a crown of clover blossoms, when I was very young. I still remember feeling ashamed of that and proceeding with great caution whenever I passed through a patch of clover. Of course, I also spent a fair amount of time looking for four-leaf clovers-and I still will on occasion. There was a large patch of clover that used to grow by one of Pops’ tobacco barns. It did not take long to find a four-leaf one in that little patch. I would carry them home and put them in the dictionary. I still do the same thing, fifty years later.
In addition, to all the blooming and nesting that goes on in April, it is also the “time of the singing of birds”. Mockingbirds do a lot of bragging in April, and rightfully so. They sing every birds’ song, by heart. As long as you listen, they will sing. I can not help but be amused. When Lyla and I stroll the streets of Elizabeth City, we usually encounter a mockingbird. I always stop, out of courtesy and listen a few minutes. When I start to walk away, the mockingbird seems to sing louder and with all of his heart. The mockingbirds at the rabbit patch do the same thing, so I suppose it is their nature.
On April nights, while the mockingbirds sleep, I notice there are more stars to be seen. It is not as easy to find Orions’ Belt, as it was a few short weeks ago. Frogs sing out begging for a rain shower and ever so often, the shrill cry of a killdeer rings out, piercing the countryside.
Dear Diary, I am glad for April. I am glad for its’ irises and violets-and the clover too. In April, I hang the linens out to dry in sunshine and at long last . . .I have put the geraniums on the porch.