The trilling of the toads began eleven days ago. Now every evening they sing their abundant song, a chorus that floats up from the cheerful neighbourhood watering hole that is their gathering place. There are no divas in the toad world. They are a harmonious lot, and they sing together. I imagine that if I were to walk quietly around the island at night I would hear them in every bog and swamp and low damp place: the whole island giving off a hopeful trilling sound.
In the middle of the night we hear the loon who has settled onto the cove water. Her call is singular. No living thing could resist the loon's call, and yet she is floating out there in the darkness by herself, at least for now. It is said that loons winter in the salt water and breed on the lakes in summer, but there are a few loons who spend their summers here in the cove, their lives elsewhere mysterious to us.
The wild bees are already hovering along the branches of the apple trees, even though the buds have not yet opened. If the world is quiet enough around you, you can hear the tiny sound of their wings beating against the air. I have read that the various sorts of wild bees emerge from their secret places exactly when their food supply is ready for them. I wonder how they can find what they need, since when I look around the only flowers I see that are open for business are the daffodils. On this subject, I imagine the wild bees know things I do not.
I heard the white throated sparrow for the first time today. If there were a Church of the Wild Things -- and maybe there is; who knows? -- this would be a holiday, or, as they were called back in the day, a holy day. But then if we were to celebrate such things, every day would be a holy day and we would never get our work done. There would be First Trilling Night, and a Loon Vigil, and an uproarious Wild Bee Day. And when the white throated sparrow returned to the island from God knows where, and perched impossibly high on a dead spruce tree and opened his beak and poured out his luminous notes for the first time, we would drop our rakes and stand in silent, gaping wonder.