4/21 spring Journal

Trout lily with native bee, 3/30/21

As always, spring dashes by too fast while this blogger is occupied with such mundane but necessary tasks as cutting and spraying invasive plants. In order to keep posting, I will adopt for now a journal style to at least share with you a smidgeon of the amazing life of this tiny forest.

2/23, waves of Sandhill cranes pass over the forest, croaking as they go.
2/2, a male Pileated woodpecker eyes me from behind a tree
Nearby, these perfectly rectangular cavities show that he’s been excavating for Carpenter ants.
2/28, mama Barred owl seems to have settled on this year’s nest cavity in a big dead ash tree
3/5, the ephemeral wetlands are full of water and life…
…including leeches
Streamside salamanders are going to the pools to mate and lay eggs… (image from last spring – Jacob Crider)
4/12, and many of the pools are now full of salamander larvae
2/28, Flickers are woodpeckers that like to dig for worms; they are easy to spot at this season despite having plumage that blends with the dead leaves
With mud covered beak, she pauses to make sure the surroundings are safe
3/8, perhaps due to their ground feeding behavior, Northern flickers seem to get eaten regularly by birds of prey
3/10, Red-shouldered hawk with a Garter snake, that come out to bask in the sun on this early warm day
3/29, the first fully emerged Box turtle I’ve seen this spring is a female, previously marked by me.
4/2, Virginia bluebells and Wood poppies were planted on this site three years ago; they are thriving and spreading
The areas where spring ephemerals were planted are much busier with insects. The large flowers of bluebells mostly attract Bumblebees and butterflies.
4/12, transplanted Sessile trilliums, Squirrel corn and Wood poppies look very much at home
4/16, though the main phase of spring migration has not yet commenced,the woods are full of Hermit thrushes
4/18, later blooming ephemerals like Mayapples are much more evident every year since invasive plants were removed
4/20, pawpaws are in full bloom, though a freeze is predicted for the next two nights. It will be interesting to see if this impacts the setting of fruit
4/20, a Shagbark hickory sapling begins to unurl its thick, fingerlike young leaves.

Today, 4/21, there is a sprinkling of snow on the ground. It’s one of the longest, coolest springs in recent years – meaning the pleasures of the season will be with us for awhile.

11 thoughts on “4/21 spring Journal

  1. Ann Rosa

    Thanks once again for your fabulous photos. It get my day off to a good start when I see ;you are still on top of things at the preserve. With the coronovirus I have not gotten to visit the preserve in some while but I’ll be back soon when the weather is a little warmer.
    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Sky

    I happened to be outside on 2/24 and heard/saw an impressive flock of sandhill cranes fly over Kenwood Hill. (well it impressed me, anyway) Their call is somewhat like a choir of squeaky porch swings. Kind’a beautiful.

    So good to see things bust’in out again. Thank you as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres

    Here, we’re begging spring to linger a bit longer. Post-freeze, things seem eager to get a’blooming, and every day something new appears. Spring migrants are delighting birders here. I caught a flash of blue day before yesterday, and there was an indigo bunting: one of my favorites, even though a glimpse a year is about what I get.

    I smiled at the leech. My family used to go to Leech Lake in Minnesota for a fishing vacation; the lake was well-named. And a number of gardeners are bragging about coaxing their Virginia blubells into bloom. Yours seem to be doing quite well on their own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oneforestfragment

      I’m really fascinated by leeches – and thankfully don’t have much personal experience with them! The bluebells were planted 2 and 3 seasons ago, and they do so well in the bottomlands that we are planning a mass planting this fall.

      Liked by 1 person

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