Lambs, Storks and the Search for Spring

millie watches the stork copy

Winter returned to us this morning yet again, running back like a little child for just one more goodbye kiss from Mother Earth. Reluctant to take his leave, Winter gave us one more squally little outburst.

All the while, the Spring continues to be born, she cannot be stopped.

There are new lambs on the farm this morning, still fresh and wet and miraculous. We are allowed to visit them. As we stood before the barn door ready to turn the big old key and enter, I explained to the kids that we needed to be very quiet so as not to frighten the baby lambs and their mamas. Millie was still reeling from her difficult farewell with her own mama this morning. It was impressive how quickly Millie braved up and got the crying under control with baby lambs as incentive! Not that I’m surprised, this lovely child is the queen of picking herself up, dusting herself off, and starting all over again… quite literally.


It’s amazing how, when motivated, especially by love and care, even the wildest kids, or a child like Millie, in the throes of some big emotion, can can find within themselves an unexpected capacity for self control. Last week, one of my most rambunctious and distractible kids managed to stay hidden and quiet as a mouse behind a wood stack for at least a full five minutes motivated by the delicious feeling of fun his game brought.

After our visit with lambs, the farmer asked his grandson who attends the group if we could go into the forest and bring back the spring. The kids were divided as to whether or not that was possible but the search kept us busy all morning.


And finally, on the way home, we stopped for a little bird watching as we spotted a stork in the distance at the pond. Someone was walking their dog on the path on the other side of the pond, and from our vantage point, looked rather close to the stork. Would they startle the stork so that he would spread his enormous wings and take flight? We wouldn’t want to stork to be scared, but it sure would be wonderful to catch a glimpse of him flying! We watched and waited as the dog got closer then further away from the stork, as the person drew nearer and then receded. No luck.

The figure and the dog continued their walk and soon caught up with us. It was the lovely English woman who lives nearby. We see her once or twice a year, usually in spring and she always has something interesting to share with us about the area. She explained how the storks like to eat the frogs who return to the pond to lay their eggs. “Yuck!” was the general reaction. Suddenly there was a wave of excitement, as a second stork flew in and settled down near the first. Drat, I missed it. First one stork, now two! And look at the funny way they walk!

I really wanted to see a stork in flight today and I was determined to wait it out and some of the kids joined me. The rest played happily in the snow. Our patience paid off and we were rewarded with not one but two flights across the field.

I think we just might have found spring after all.

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