TRR photos by Scott Rando

Painted turtles are among the first reptiles to be seen in the spring. They can frequently be seen basking on logs or on the shore of lakes and ponds. A suitable log may host a dozen turtles as they seek the warm rays of the sun.

If you don’t like the weather, blink

April is the first full month in spring, and she can be one of the most changeable months of the year weather-wise. A few days of balmy, sunny warmth can be followed by near blizzard conditions. During April, you must use caution when doing your spring planting, as frost can visit overnight and harm the more tender seedlings or transplanted crops. This year the last Monday in April saw a high in the 30s, and there were flurries and snow squalls that cut visibility to a quarter mile at times. Two days later, it got warm enough that temperatures were trying to touch 90°. It would have been nice to go swimming, if the water temperatures were not still in the low- to mid-50s.

Friday morning, before dawn following the hottest day of the week, I thought I heard a familiar sound. It was the first of the American toads calling. Unlike the soft “snore” of pickerel frogs, the sound of American toads carries far, and when there is one American toad, there are many. A little later in the morning, I heard the first cricket-like call of a gray tree frog. The early emerging frogs such as the wood frogs have already dispersed from vernal ponds in the area, but the females have left their egg masses, which will soon hatch into tadpoles.

The spate of warm weather has generated some sightings of spring arrivals. Ovenbirds have been heard singing, and some hermit thrushes have been spotted. People have been seeing such visitors as rose-breasted grosbeaks at their feeders, and a few ruby-throated hummingbirds have been seen. Speaking of feeders, some folks have decided to bring the feeders in for the summer due to the emergence of hungry bears and their cubs last month. If you remember seeing the “counting bears” column featured in the March 28 River Talk, there was a trail-cam installed by each of the dens we visited, and there was a den with four cubs. Here is the emergence of the female and her  cubs on March 31 from the PGC: https://tinyurl.com/y7ykz9yb. Happy spring!

 

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