The Big Thaw

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Spring is finally here. I know, it’s April, so you think I wrote this a month ago, but no, I didn’t. It’s been a cool spring — just what the Farmer’s Almanac said it would be, apparently — but it is really starting to get nice out now.*

As temperatures rise, one’s mind wanders to things of spring… the birds and the bees… snow transforming into mud puddles in that miraculous way it does each year… waxing poetical in blog posts…

cardinals
Guess which one is the male? 🙂

Seriously, let’s talk about the birds and the bees. If you are teaching your children about them, are you really talking about how the males chase the females around, and how the males have all the pretty plumage (generally) to attract the females. The females choose their mate, according to the experts, by the colour of their feathers and display the males make. Some birds, mind you, mate for life, but I suppose the initial selection is done by plumage. And then what do you say when little Suzie asks “Mommy, what’s ‘mating?'” 😛

What about the bees? How would you explain to your child that the female bee has thousands of slave drone bees — all male — in her service? Their job is to collect food for the colony, and in particular, for her. She lays hundreds of eggs in time, all thanks to her slaves. I wonder if that’s why some little girls are “princesses…” They are practicing to be queens.

Hmm… I’m not sure how that all relates to men and women, culture and reproduction. You’ll have to excuse me; clearly, I’m feeling cheeky today! So, are men supposed to dance around and impress the women, in particular with their fancy clothes and groovy moves, as it is the world of birds? The female birds do the judging by appearances, contrary to our society where it is the males. I would love to see that reversed — it would be hilarious to see men primping in front of mirrors, painting their faces and wearing flashy clothes to get the attention of the women!

As for the bees, I don’t see how that would ever work. Thousands of men, working for one woman, without ever a hope of getting any, ahem, action with her… I just can’t see that working. Maybe, if they can keep a hope that they might be the chosen one…

Even though we joke about spring being the time for reproduction, it’s interesting to note that most children are conceived in the fall, when temperatures drop and men and women everywhere huddle together for warmth. Spring is the time we shed clothes and let our skin feel the sun, which I suppose leads to other sorts of activities of the huddling variety.

So there you go. Spring is in the air! Be careful, folks.

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By the way, I have seen some new birds around — another sure sign of spring! A woodpecker flew by the window (I didn’t get a really good look at him to say what kind), and I saw a small flock of cedar waxwings last time I went snowshoeing. 🙂 There are also lots of snow buntings.

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*After writing this, it has snowed, rained, sleeted, the wind started howling, and the snow is now coming down sideways. Oh, well. Maybe we’ll just skip spring and go straight to summer…

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