Let it be recorded: last night was the first Spring Peeper. I heard it in the early evening, just after dark. A solitary peeper singing near the pond. Awake from its winter slumber, the first to sing its body electric:
The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the Soul.
And tonight, with luck, several more singing the sleigh bell chorus, all together. And in the next week, if I am lucky, an entire celestial choir jingling rounds throughout the night. To be joined by bullfrogs and dozens of green pond frogs, all singing out their electricity.
A sure sign of Spring.
Note: Last year, this exact essay ran on April 5, 2011. Today is March 14, 2012, so Spring is about two weeks earlier this year. It may actually be possible this year to plant spinach and peas on St. Patrick's Day.