by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager
There have been a lot of nature changes in the last week accompanying all this great weather. Butterflies are getting active. The Mourning Cloak has been the most abundant and I have been seeing them daily (in the woods) for about a week. Eastern Commas are another butterfly that I have seen. On Sunday, visitors returned from walks excited to have seen butterflies. They were even more excited when they stopped at the Nature Center and were able to identify their sightings using the guidebook at the desk.
Birds are getting active too. The bluebirds have been singing for some weeks. While I was mowing the meadows, I saw a bluebird checking out one of the bird boxes. So, in case you have been procrastinating, it is time to clean out your nest boxes.
I saw a Pileated Woodpecker fly across the meadows each day that I was mowing them. It was interesting to see them in the open, as I usually see them in the forest. The Flickers have been calling and other woodpeckers have begun drumming on hollow trees.
This morning I heard an Eastern Phoebe singing at Mariton. Yesterday, the Stewardship Staff was at Binky Lee Preserve for our annual Prescribed Fire training. The Phoebes were singing there all day. I wondered how long it would be until I heard them at Mariton. Not long.