Mariton: Drink Your Tea-e-e-e-e

March 30, 2012

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

(Photo by Carole Mebus)

Maureen and I were away on vacation during those hot days (more on that in another post).  Spring really sprung while we were gone.   So, this morning while working in the meadows, I was delighted to hear:  “Drink your tea –e-e-e-e!”  Birders know that is a mnemonic device for remembering the song of the Eastern Towhee.  (We used to call them Rufous-sided Towhees, which I still like.)  It is one of those bird songs that seem to brighten one’s day.  It is also a birdsong that everyone can learn.  In the spring, hearing a returning bird, or finding a new wildflower emerging from leaf duff is a special treat, and so much has happened while we were gone.  I will try to bring things up to speed, and you are welcome to pffttt at something you already discovered in your woods a couple of weeks ago.

Three bluebird pairs have started nests at Mariton.  I saw a tree swallow in the meadows.  Lots of birds are proclaiming their nesting territory.  In particular, the Cardinals, Carolina Wrens and Song Sparrows have been singing loudly in the yard.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis ), Rue Anemone ( Anemonella thalictroides ), and Hepatica (Hepatica americana) are blossoming.  The Mayapples look like little half-opened umbrellas pushing up through the leaves.  I have heard reports of Spring Beauties, but I haven’t seen them at Mariton yet.  The Shadbush (Amerlanchier sp.) is blooming, and I see the local bait shop has shad darts advertised.  I saw Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) blossoms opening in the woods.  The Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is leafing out, and in some places flowering.  With a little rain this weekend, I really expect things to get going next week.  Spring happens fast; don’t miss it.