As I look down the hill each morning, I can tell that mighty changes are occurring in the Allen Woods. The snow is long gone. Our only concern now is the usual danger of a late freeze that will invariably nip tender blossoms in the bud.

       A couple of weeks ago, the woods had that hazy look. I knew it was the first sign that leaves with that fresh Spring-green color would soon be appearing on the trees, finally to obscure our view of the creek and swamp until the leaves drop again in the Fall.

       But right now, the view is one of incredible beauty; for wild dogwood has burst into bloom all through the woods in a profusion I've not seen before. It must be because the woods have thinned out naturally as storms and ice have taken their toll on old or weakened trees during the last several years. The rays of the sun can now filter through the remaining trees much easier and as a result, once-struggling dogwoods are carrying an umbrella of brilliant white blossoms this year.

       Because the woods have cleared somewhat, my son and grandson have been raking a wonderful series of paths through the woods and down to the swampy creek. There at swamp's edge, a log bench has been set up so that path-walkers can take a few minutes respite to watch the birds, fish, frogs, insects and other wildlife that call this natural habitat, their home.

       We are the intruders here, so we sit quietly and allow ourselves to become part of the scene. In the silence, we can hear the buzzing of insects, the splash of a turtle or maybe, a fish and the bustling sound of a small animal scurrying through the underbrush nearby. The joy and peacefulness we feel all adds up to the happy news that Spring has arrived once more to the banks of...


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