My family gathered together on Sunday to honor the various
moms in our bloodline and to eat ourselves silly on salads, dips, chips
and pie. Although you probably already know this if you were at home in
Putnam County that day, the morning started out with fog and a cool mist
that blew across the fields with a chill. Our outside feast was cause
for concern, especially since my 97-year-old grandmother intended to
PLEASE PAUSE FOR THIS EDITORIAL MOMENT: All other
readers, do excuse me as I wave my cardboard sign up and down in front
of the camera. Hi, Gran! Tee hee hee!
Anyway, everybody who had
traveled from as far away as Virginia to celebrate familial moms was
pretty pleased when the sun came out and burned off the clouds in time
for a picnic. It even got hot enough that the southwest breeze felt good
around 2 p.m.
Sandwiches, pasta, four kinds of dippables and
three pies later, we reminisced. We counted butterflies and honeybees in
a nearby crabtree, thrilled by both after the long, terrible winter
months killed off so many. Steve and I took a walk, he with a camera in
hand and me with a pail to pick wood violets for jelly. The trail led us
past nesting wood ducks, a sandpiper and a species of warbler that
hasn’t been seen in these parts in quite some time. I suppose it took so
long to warm up that by the time the migratory birds got this far
north, they decided it wasn’t worth making the rest of the trip just to
have to turn around and head south.
All this ‘mama-ing’ put me in
mind of two years ago when we were privy to the rehabilitation of a
female Virginia opossum and several of her offspring. Under a sub-permit
with a Toledo-area wildlife rehab facility, our place served as halfway
house as the mother recovered from a close encounter with a car.
than a week in, Opossum Mom started to pace in her hutch. We opened the
door, thinking she would take off with the kids. She took off, but left
the kids behind. With a collective sigh, we closed the door on
predators and ordered enough formula to get several nursing opossums to a
releasable age. Since primitive, prehistoric Virginia opossums have a
pea-sized brain, we were pretty sure the mother was on her nomadic way.
Such was the experience of most wildlife studies and there was no reason
to doubt the writings.
The next morning, I filled the dishes and
started out the door to the hutch. And stopped. The mom was back,
working at the door while the babies paced on the other side. Steve
grabbed the camera, opened the door, the kids spilled out onto their
mother’s back and off they went.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day, no matter how many legs you may have.