The Washington Times - March 17, 2009, 11:30AM

    One of the perks of rural life in the spring is experiencing the wonders of wildlife re-awakening and coming home, literally in your own backyard.
    Throughout the last week, a pair of geese have chosen my backyard-pond to land on, like clockwork, every morning at 7:00 a.m.  My six-year-old and I have the timing down so precisely now that for the last two days we have been able to watch their graceful water landings.
    Even though I have come from a family of duck and goose hunters, the site of these beautiful birds in the wild still amazes me.  Today, however, we were in for a special treat for as I gathered my coffee and my camera, some “friends” had joined my original pair.
    By the time I got out to my deck, three more geese and a pair of ducks had also found solace on our little one-acre pond. I was so engrossed in their activity and trying to take the “perfect” picture, I didn’t even notice the smell –- at first. Apparently, yet another form of wildlife had made its appearance in the night, one that is another sure sign of spring – the skunk.
    Thankfully, this skunk didn’t hang around for long. He was possibly hoping for a bite of cat food left on the deck — there were no visible signs of it anyway — and I was able to take a few pictures without fear of being annihilated by our nighttime visitor.
    Heading off to work with just a light jacket this morning, it definitely feels like spring is at hand with temps predicted to hit the mid seventies.
    I wonder, however, as I put my golf clubs in the trunk just how we will pay for this early bit of warmth. In Iowa, as the saying goes: if you don’t like the weather, hang around for a while. It’s sure to change.