Mariton: It Sprung!
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager
Changes are happening quickly. I found my first Hepatica(Hepatica americana), shortly after Dan posted his beautiful photo. Since then, a few more have popped up. I have also found Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadenisis) flowers on the South Fox Trail. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is blooming throughout the woods. Dutchman’s Breeches’ (Dicentra cucullaria) leaves are up; no flowers yet. If we get the rain forecasted for later this week, things will really break-out.
We could use a little rain, the trails are really dusty. Of course, the turkeys have taken advantage by making dust baths along the trails. I am still seeing Hermit Thrushes, along with the other winter birds like Juncos and White-throated Sparrows. Bluebirds have started building nests in two different nest boxes. This morning I was sure I heard part of the song from a Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Sap is flowing from cuts on a Black Walnuts that fell in the storm. Over the weekend I was cutting and splitting firewood very close to one of these trees. It was interesting to watch all the butterflies that visited the tree trunk to drink the sap. I saw Mourning Cloaks, Commas, and Spring Azures lapping up the moisture.
I have started seeing bats at dusk and dawn. There are too few bats, but I am glad to be seeing any right now.