Mariton: It Sprung!

April 10, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Hepatica at Mariton

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.