My family gathered together on Sunday to honor the various moms in our bloodline and to eat ourselves silly on salads, dips, chips and pie. Although you probably already know this if you were at home in Putnam County that day, the morning started out with fog and a cool mist that blew across the fields with a chill. Our outside feast was cause for concern, especially since my 97-year-old grandmother intended to join us.

PLEASE PAUSE FOR THIS EDITORIAL MOMENT: All other readers, do excuse me as I wave my cardboard sign up and down in front of the camera. Hi, Gran! Tee hee hee!

Anyway, everybody who had traveled from as far away as Virginia to celebrate familial moms was pretty pleased when the sun came out and burned off the clouds in time for a picnic. It even got hot enough that the southwest breeze felt good around 2 p.m.

Sandwiches, pasta, four kinds of dippables and three pies later, we reminisced. We counted butterflies and honeybees in a nearby crabtree, thrilled by both after the long, terrible winter months killed off so many. Steve and I took a walk, he with a camera in hand and me with a pail to pick wood violets for jelly. The trail led us past nesting wood ducks, a sandpiper and a species of warbler that hasn’t been seen in these parts in quite some time. I suppose it took so long to warm up that by the time the migratory birds got this far north, they decided it wasn’t worth making the rest of the trip just to have to turn around and head south.

All this ‘mama-ing’ put me in mind of two years ago when we were privy to the rehabilitation of a female Virginia opossum and several of her offspring. Under a sub-permit with a Toledo-area wildlife rehab facility, our place served as halfway house as the mother recovered from a close encounter with a car.

Less than a week in, Opossum Mom started to pace in her hutch. We opened the door, thinking she would take off with the kids. She took off, but left the kids behind. With a collective sigh, we closed the door on predators and ordered enough formula to get several nursing opossums to a releasable age. Since primitive, prehistoric Virginia opossums have a pea-sized brain, we were pretty sure the mother was on her nomadic way. Such was the experience of most wildlife studies and there was no reason to doubt the writings.

The next morning, I filled the dishes and started out the door to the hutch. And stopped. The mom was back, working at the door while the babies paced on the other side. Steve grabbed the camera, opened the door, the kids spilled out onto their mother’s back and off they went.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day, no matter how many legs you may have.