Signs of Spring

The Thai pepper seedlings on my window sill are coming along nicely.


I was watching two starlings preparing a nest in a hole in a tree when something in the sky caught my eye. Thousands and thousands of geese travelling east, too high up for me to take photos. Vee after vee after vee, some tucked inside others, some staggered like bricks. The structure reminded me of a directory tree.

Every time I thought I’d seen the last vee, it turned out to be a gap in the waves of birds, and then more would flash into sight. They were so high up that I might have missed them, had it not been for the low angle of the late afternoon sun illuminating their bodies against the sky.

And to think that I almost put off going outside to put out the recycling.

About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
This entry was posted in Creative Non-Fiction, Nature and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Signs of Spring

  1. That must have been glorious! 🙂 How do you keep birds from eating the plant seeds, or is Thai pepper not appetizing? I’ve had trouble growing potted flowers …

    • Chris says:

      Hi Adriene! It was glorious! I still can’t get over it. The seedlings are inside, because it’s not warm enough to put them out yet. The birds will be interested when I start sowing seeds in the garden though. Do the birds eat your flowers? It’s the squirrels that like to eat mine.

      • Ok, maybe it was squirrels and I put them out too soon because some creature destroyed the dirt and the new growth looking for goodies. That was a while back but maybe I’ll try again this year. Your plants look great!

        • Chris says:

          Hope you’ll try again, and keep me posted on how the plants grow. Sometimes, I protect my seeds with wire mesh or plastic netting.

  2. Evelyn says:

    Are your Thai peppers hot? Spring has really arrived here…I heard the first cuckoo last week!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Evelyn, how wonderful that you have cuckoos where you live. Here, I’m watching a cardinal couple that visits every day. Hoping there will be young ‘uns.

      These peppers are the long, narrow ones you would see at a Vietnamese or Thai restaurant. For a stir fry for two people, I’d use no more than two peppers if the people I’m serving can’t take more than a medium hotness. Three would make the dish very spicy, and four, killer hot. Of course, this varies according to how young the peppers are when I pick them, and how much sun they get while growing.

  3. Eric Syrdal says:

    For New Orleans, it’s the return of the Blue Jays. I could hear their calls back and forth yesterday evening.

  4. Susi Lovell says:

    I love watching the geese coming back! Especially when they are in huge numbers. Did you see if they were Canada geese or snow geese?

    • Chris says:

      I imagine they were Canada geese, but they were so high up that I couldn’t even hear them, let alone see any details. It was their formations that gave them away.

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