A spring love-fest, everywhere you look


Spring has sprung in the North Georgia Mountains. Hillsides and meadows turned brown are coming back green and luscious. The rains of winter have been good for the soil and everything growing beneath. Tender shoots and sprouts push through layers of dead leaves. Bright daffodils like golden stars dot the landscape. Redbuds and dogwoods are blooming showpieces competing with crabapple and cherry trees. Pink and white and red—the colors of Valentine’s Day—everywhere you look it’s one big love fest.

As buzzing bees dip into sweet nectar, snakes intertwine in the wood pile and noisy frogs leap and court in the muddy pond, the humans begin their own rites of spring.

They pull themselves out of hibernation, shedding thick sweaters, hats and gloves to expose pale skin to the bright sun, showing off gym-toned bodies – the result of resolutions yet unbroken. They admire the “busy-ness” of the season, whether breathing deeply in the fresh air or sneezing at the fishy scent of the blooming Bradford pear, there’s no denying the hopeful promise of spring.

Even the word, spring, calls one to action.

Many humans, like their animal counterparts, seek one thing this time of the year—a suitable mate. For some, the pink, white and red of the previous month along with chocolate, wine and jewelry has set the stage for courtship. For others, they’ve spent hours downloading apps, penning bios, posting selfies and swiping right hoping for their match.

Whatever the case, they (these mate-seeking humans) will arrive in our towns in expensive convertibles ill-suited for crush-and-run roads or in pristine, lifted Jeeps with monogrammed stickers centered perfectly on the rear window. They’ll be sipping Starbucks and blaring rap music and when they step out in their heavy flannel shirts and shiny new cowboy boots for their date in a quaint country town, you’ll smell city on them, and it will be almost as fishy as the Bradford pear tree in your front yard.

Unlike the bird returning to the meadow of his youth to seek his mate, these courting humans come to a place they’ve only read about or seen posted on a popular influencer’s Instagram. Attempting to impress his potential mate with fancy cocktails and an expensive meal, the male is easy to spot in this stage of courtship, his blushing cheeks bearing a similar hue to that of a mating flamingo.

After alighting on the perfect seat in the perfect establishment, his companion, the loud, colorful female will preen, flipping her hair, tapping her nails and bowing her head over a tiny screen. She is hard to read and will keep the male guessing for hours, possibly days. His eagerness to claim her as his mate cannot be more clear and yet she holds all the power in the relationship.

These mating humans don’t have the advantages of the lower classes of the animal kingdom. They are not equipped with the poison dart of the garden snail nor are they able (or willing) to devour the head of their mate like the praying mantis. (Leaving nothing to chance.) Instead, they will chat and text, they will dine and dance, they will play and sometimes argue. They will enter a lengthy courtship whose rules are everchanging without any certainty of consummating the relationship or birthing offspring. Because it’s in their nature. This is the season of new beginnings. Of chances and possibilities.

It’s springtime. Everywhere you look, it’s one big love-fest.