On Oxbow Pond: Welcome

“If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes,”  oldtimers in New England have long said.  Last week it snowed a foot.  Today, the thermometer read 85 degrees in the broad middle of the afternoon.

And with that first blast of heat, Spring plain burst her stays.

I’ve heard the geese returning for a couple of weeks;  they follow the river on their way North, calling to announce to one and all that they are HERE!  But the songbirds just materialized, seemingly out of nowhere.  A vibrant dawn chorus erupted out of the quiet of winter.  The first Robin hopped gingerly across the grass, careful to avoid the rapidly shrinking, gravel-encrusted piles of snow left by the plow.  Who wants cold feet?  A new bird inspected last-year’s nest, snugged in above the office window.

The chipmunks screeched and chased each other, disappearing in and out of their holes.  That’s the first I’ve seen of them since late last Fall.  Peepers chimed their own welcome, with a baseline falsetto, ALL evening.

I threw the doors and windows open to air the place out and to welcome Spring in.  As I sat at the computer, a bird flew in from the garage, perched briefly on a dining-room chair, and bolted out the front door;  I chuckled a surprised welcome.  I suppose curiosity got the better of her.  Just what does this human habitat look like…?

Well she might ask, as we have been making ready for our first guests.

James and I have long raised sheep on a hardscrabble, hill farm in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire.  A year or so ago, we bought Riverland on the Merrimack, a small piece of good farmland on the Merrimack River with the idea of expanding the farm.

And since Riverland is just off Interstate 93 (Exit 17), we thought it might just be a welcoming place for traveling humans, and so we have painted and remodeled a contemporary home into a comfy Bed & Breakfast.  With the arrival of Spring, we have thrown open the virtual windows and doors in the form of a listing on www.StayNH.org.  This season we will have two, ground-floor rooms to offer, each with private bath.  Rockers on wide porches await.  We hope you will investigate and reserve a room, if you are coming this way.

The path down to the river is not too muddy.  The first dog-walkers and their four-legged friends also returned today.  The beach at present is still underneath that foot of melted snow, but just wait five minutes…

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