Each year we await the signs of spring with great anticipation, the arrival of the birds from warmer climes throughout April and May are carefully noted and compared with the arrival time from previous years, The same is true of the first green shoots and woodland flowers to pop up along our trails, this year we have had a few surprises with things a little different from 'normal'.
A recent hike revealed even more Hepitica in flower than we had
ever seen before, in some areas the forest floor always gives us a
good show but this year there are hundreds of 'new' Hepitica
flowering with just one bloom per plant compared with the established
ones with up to a dozen blooms on one plant. Even in our 'cultivated'
areas where a few have been transplanted we find new ones popping up
several feet away from the original, obviously self seeded. The same
seems to be true of our clumps of Bloodroot, must have been a good
fall / winter for seedlings?
The birds arrivals have been a little different also with much
greater numbers of some species than we normally see. Usually we see
one or two Purple Finches that drop by on their way to someplace else
but this year we had dozens here for days and still have a pair
sticking around, the same is true of the White Throated Sparrows. We
had a half dozen hopping around under our apple tree finding bugs and
fallen seed from feeder hanging above and still have a pair around
who were just seen collecting nesting materials, usually they too
move on and dont stick around.
And then as a bonus the Mrs just spotted a FEMALE Red Breasted
Woodpecker quickly stealing a seed from the window feeder. We have
had a male visiting regularly for several years and thought that
perhaps we saw a fledgling last fall but were unable to be sure, we
now know we have a PAIR here to add to our large contingent of Downy
and Hairy woodpeckers. Go get those Ash Borer, Pine Sawyer, Forest
Tent Caterpillars and Pine Bud Worms guys!!
Naturally one of our Robins has decided to build in a spot where
we cannot help but disturb her, last year it was just 3' from the
front door, this year its in the corner of our BBQ shelter where we
sit almost every day to relax and enjoy watching the various birds
come and go. Guess we have a close up view unless he gets spooked or
Mrs R decides its not to her liking in that spot, he will probably
build several for her to look over as usual!
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