Sexual innuendo intended, because there's plenty of that going on during spring, but that's not what this column is about.
Spring is one of my favorite times to watch nature. Winter is tough because it's impossible not to sympathize with animals. I can read a stack of biology books and understand how every species copes with winter, but I still feel sorry for them when the wind's howling and it's subfreezing.
I want to bring them inside, let them lay on the dog bed in front of the woodstove and feed them a cup of warm soup.
Silly, I know, and that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.
When those brilliant, sunny days of spring shine down and I see hillsides teeming with animals peacefully grazing in the warm air, I feel a lot better for them. They're the winter survival lottery winners.
It's amazing to see all the activity across the spectrum of wildlife during spring.
I'm a big-game geek, and it's cool how visible and low key deer and elk behave.
Elusive and ethereal bull elk become as casual as Jersey cows as they placidly graze on new grass. The elk will soon rise in elevation and evaporate like a mist into the forest.
Bucks are a little trickier because most have lost their antlers, so I look at those big herds of deer and wonder if one of them is the buck that made me look like an idiot last fall, or maybe one I will encounter next fall.
But it's not just the big animals that fascinate me.
I get a kick out of the ground squirrels and their frenetic energy. They dart around with their little tails spinning like propellers, then freeze, stare and dart off again.
It's like they're trying to comprehend the whole world in the couple months they spend above ground. What are they thinking? Going from subterranean to above ground must be like switching planets. It's got to be a mind-blowing experience for the young ones.
Birds are another source of entertainment. Song birds announce their arrival in the spring with such volume it sometimes wakes me up in the morning.
Waterfowl get downright goofy. I will skip their R-rated antics; frankly, it's a little embarrassing. But it's not just their mating escapades that make me shake my head.
I recently saw two ducks flying with their wings locked and wondered where they were going to land. They dropped onto a busy neighborhood street and stared down a diesel pickup. It stopped, and the driver waited while they triumphantly waddled onto the sidewalk.
What possessed those daffy ducks to do that?
Speaking of crazy birds. Turkey season starts this month, and I'm still laughing about last year's hunt.
I located a tom's roost in the evening and arrived to his hangout predawn, only to discover another pickup parked nearby.
I faced a dilemma to either abandon the hunt or compete with another hunter who had the same idea and arrived sooner.
While I debated what to do, the hunter started calling in the darkness, and the tom answered.
I roughly knew where both were located, so I slipped into the woods and moved in the opposite direction of hunter with the turkey between us.
I decided I would just wait and see what happened. I staked a spot several hundred yards away from the hunter and sat down. I didn't call to the bird, and as far as I could tell, it didn't know I was there.
The turkey flew down out of the tree in my direction. Only when I knew he was moving away from the other hunter's calls and not toward him did I start calling.
The tom replied to me several times, but never closed the gap between us or got any where near shotgun range. I got brief glances of him through the brush before he silently disappeared.
I gave up and hiked back to the truck and ran into the other hunter. I explained exactly what I did and why, and he had no complaints about my decision.
We stood around talking for quite a while. Two guys out in the woods at first light during hunting season have plenty in common, even if we were strangers. We swapped a few hunting stories.
Next thing we knew, Mr. Tom decided to interrupt our chit chat by gobbling, and he was a lot closer than he was to either of us when we were trying to ambush him.
We ducked into the brush and started calling again. Suddenly we were a team. The tom still wouldn't budge. But he walked onto the same dirt road where our trucks were parked and start strutting.
So we stood up and watched him. He wasn't coming to us and we couldn't close the gap.
Neither of us had an ounce of malice toward the bird. One of us would call, and the tom would gobble and strut, and we just laughed as we watched him.
He had to be aware of our presence, and he put on quite a show and seemed to enjoy taunting us and gloating.
Wildlife can be the ultimate reality show, and being outdoors and seeing it live is more entertaining than watching anything on TV.
Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors
Statesman outdoor writers Pete Zimowsky and Roger Phillips alternate columns on Thursday. Look for Zimo next week.