It’s a rainy warmish night in the Upper Delaware River region, and while most of us are dry and comfortable inside our homes, other species are out and about, risking their lives while scurrying across roads toward their breeding grounds.
When March arrives and there are any trees at all around, many species of birds get an early start on breeding by trying to court a mate by means of calls. Calling birds are very apparent on even a short walk outdoors. If you listen, you can make out the tapping of woodpeckers as well.
It’s a startling sound, the thud that occurs when a bird mistakes a window for clear flight space and strikes glass instead. Your heart sinks to think about the possible outcomes—at worst, the loss of life, at best, a temporarily stunned and disabled bird that could use all the help it can get until it recovers enough to enable flight.
The coming of spring brings to thought a diverse variety of events to different people. For some of us, the first thing to come to mind is the appearance of daffodils popping out of the ground. For others, the song of spring peepers calling in the early evening from wetlands and marshes.
I recently signed up to receive email news bulletins from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). One of the bulletins focuses on the important work done by DEC forest rangers, often with little public awareness of those activities.
Toward the end of February and the first few days of March, we had some mild weather with the temperature approaching 60° in some areas. Ice was completely gone or well on its way to being gone on most waterways, and I did a little hunting with eyes and ears for early frogs and salamanders.
As we enter the third month of 2017, it’s good to keep in mind how quickly time passes and how soon spring will be here. Connecting with the rising energy of spring is a great way to uphold those New Year’s resolutions for better physical and mental health.
During the cold months of winter, the average person doesn’t think about bats; there are none to be seen outdoors or in the attic, where they may roost during the day in the summer. Now is the season when bats in our region are literally fighting for their lives, as they attempt to survive the winter hibernation period.
Fans of Robert Frost’s poetry and lovers of trees might be pleased to know they can now plant a piece of history on their Upper Delaware River region property.
During the first week of February, I visited the north end of Liberty Marsh at the New York side of the border with New Jersey. It is located within the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, a roughly 12-mile-long area of federal refuge lands that surround the Wallkill River.