Spring has sprung
Don’t get me wrong—I adore my spouse. But our mutual fancies are focused on getting outdoors with friends and family. It’s been so long since we had a winter that was worthy of the name; we’d forgotten what spring fever feels like.
I spent a few winters in snowbound cities. There, the first sunny day of spring draws the masses out en masse to the parks, plazas and running trails. In Irvine we can recreate outside all year long. Still, the storms of this past winter were severe enough to keep us indoors more than normal. With the spring came the green. And while the land is now turning to a tawny brown, our hills are still full of life.
But, ah, there’s the rub! (to crib from another British poet of some note). The fecund fields are also home to creatures, great and small. Just as the rainy season brought our attention to the danger of falling trees and branches, the end of the rains has turned my focus to the many creatures that benefit from the bounty the rains brought.
For many who live elsewhere the sighting of the first robin is a sure sign of spring. In Irvine, it’s the first coyote. Mine was this past weekend, as we hiked along the Shady Canyon trail. We hazed it, as we’ve all been taught, yelling and making ourselves large. A rock or two were thrown, and it trotted back into the bushes.
Still, it’s a reminder to be cautious while enjoying outdoor recreation. Experts say that the end of the drought and the abundant vegetation may trigger a population boom of bunnies and other cute critters, which will result in a healthier coyote population (not to mention snakes, spiders, and etc.). In May and June, moms will vigilantly defend their pups.
Will the happier hunting grounds in the hills help keep the coyotes away from our pets? Perhaps. For now, enjoy the season. But keep an eye out for furry friends and neighbors.