Well, another spring is here — a time to drink in so many of nature’s wonders.

Spring has an intoxicating quality about it as the earth yawns and shakes off its winter sleep.

The buttercups came especially early this year, much too early. It seems that they lost their splendor too soon. They are rarely gone before March is finished.

Other flowers and trees held off a bit, but these late frosts will do their damage. My peonies welcomed the past two mornings with bowed heads. Many years ago, I was a dedicated rose grower. I would make a frenzied effort to protect them from late winter frosts. I eventually learned that roses are hearty enough to bounce back after being burned by the cold. It seems that winter always tries to get in a few late punches before it gives up to springtime. Returning birds are one of my springtime delights. They arrive from places far away at the first signs of the earth turning green again. Sometimes, they arrive in pairs, male and female. Sometimes, they show up separately, and the courting begins. I spotted a male cardinal the other day, his feathers fiery red. Flying with him was his mate, the colors of her feathers more subdued, her beak a vivid orange. I smiled as I thought, “There is romance in the air.” Soon birds of all kinds and colors will be feverishly building nests with such skill that it defies imagination. Tiny eggs will give way to ugly, big-eyed hatchlings so fragile that one wonders how they survive. Then, more wonder ensues as busy parents fly back and forth to feed hungry, wide-open mouths. It is, indeed, one of nature’s springtime miracles. The hardwood trees will play it safe and wait until the last frost is past before they show their hand. Much is made of the beauty of fall leaves, and rightfully so. But I have learned, with the passing of the years, to look for more subtle colors in the spring. Soon the forests will take on the palest shades of green as tender buds make their first appearance. The colors of their waking shyness will only be noticed by attentive eyes.

Another spring calf crop is in the making. When the newborns begin to arrive, my spirits soar. I especially enjoy the early mornings when mama cows begin calling to their babies after a night of separation. The older cows will begin to low softly, and you can tell she is on the move. Soon, the little one calls back with a sense of urgency. When they find each other, all is well. Nature has a way of taking care of its own. My friend, Dr. Paul Enoch (a veterinarian) says there is nothing quite as exhilarating as seeing a young colt making a morning run in the springtime. But seeing a young calf make a run, its tail in the air like a flag, almost does me as much good. When I was a boy, I distinctly remember an event which took place every spring on Main Street in Riddleton. Mrs. Bernice Dias would raise every window in her house, hang every quilt and blanket out on her clothesline, and beat her throw rugs to death with a broom. The first time I saw these goings-on, I asked my grandmother as to what this meant.

“Why, she’s spring cleaning,” my grandmother answered.

Oh, the recuperative value of fresh, spring air.

So, here we are drinking in another spring. Springtime has followed winter for thousands of years. God is a genius for making it so.

Hope springs eternal (no pun intended.)

Hartsville resident Jack McCall is an author and motivational speaker.

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