Clear skies gave us frosty mornings but warming days, encouraging both flora and fauna to start the new season quickly. The smelt, suckers and pickerel are spawning simultaneously, the migrant birds are moving northward. Friends have reported the arrival of Ruby-throated hummingbirds during the last few days.
Activities are delayed compared to the early spring we had last year, when we saw Canada goslings during the first week of May.
This Canada Goose was keeping a wary eye out on her nest seen from Hwy 529:
This Early Saxifrage was trying to attract pollinators in the rocks just north of Twin Rivers…
The willow catkins are quickly maturing. This link gives a good summary of how willows propagate. And this link has some good photos of catkins for American Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)
Ostrich ferns (aka Fiddleheads) are starting to unfurl…
This is the only evidence of T. grandiflorum that I’ve seen so far, at its usual spot on the north side of Hwy 522 between Grundy Lake PP and Pakesley.
This Savannah sparrow was occasionally serenading, perhaps to attract a mate.
So was this Chipping Sparrow.
Up along the Jamot Lumber road we saw Carolina Spring Beauties in profusion.
And trout lilies …
Bloodroot was found about 13 Km in on the Jamot Lumber Road in very rich soil in association with ramp, trout lilies, wake robin, dutchman’s breeches.
Wake-robin, (T. erectum) starting to unfurl.
And Dutchman’s breeches in full bloom …
This pair of wood ducks left a small vernal pool to scamper off into thick bush. I was lucky to get this photo of them as they paused to glance backwards…
Here is a broadwinged Hawk, eyeing the guy sticking a camera out of a car, before flying off …
Unfortunately we saw no pollinators. Many of these plants are dependent on bumblebees for pollination but the temperature was still to cold for them to forage. Fortunately many of the above wildflowers also propagate asexually using rhizomes, tubers, bulbs, corms etc.
The Times, They Are A-Changing ….. quickly!
Dear Tom .. THANK YOU ..Mother Nature is coming out of her slumber and so many beautiful sights to see. Partial to “This Early Saxifrage was trying to attract pollinators in the rocks just north of Twin Rivers”..
I always like the Early Saxifrage as a harbinger of spring. It is so interesting when viewed up close (by clicking on the image here)