Some of spring’s arrivals
It’s hard to think of the coming of spring as I write this, because it is still snowing outside. No, not the 15 inches of snow we got a few weeks ago, which, with the wind, caused widespread damage throughout the region. No, this is just a dusting of wet snow that promises to melt with warming afternoon temperatures. Nevertheless, spring is coming, if a little bit slower this year. Skunk cabbage is starting to make an appearance in some wetlands, and daffodils are starting to sprout in yards.
Another sign of spring is the animal life being seen or heard for the first time since fall of last year. Spring peepers and wood frogs are peeping and quacking in small vernal ponds and other wet areas during some of the milder days we have experienced. Some other amphibians have been seen on roads on mild nights as they migrate to breeding grounds. Also, a morning walk in forests or meadows will yield a variety of calls of birds and drumming of woodpeckers.
This is the time of year when you can see or hear the first early arrivals of migrating birds. Together with the year-round resident birds, they are all getting ready to build nests and reproduce. As spring progresses, more spring migrants will make their appearance. Some of the migrants seen now will not stay here to breed; they are on the way to more northern climes. Some good examples are buffleheads and common loons. Other species transit the area, and it’s a good time to observe them.
As skeins of geese are heard overhead, look for the first robin of spring, or wait a few weeks and listen for the first melodic call of the wood thrush. Spring may be a little slow in coming this year, but take heart: it is coming.