Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More signs of Spring: Melting lakes and small furry creatures

Yep, Spring is definitely on its way. With all the rain we've been having, the snow and ice are melting quickly away, and all sorts of small streams and rivulets have sprung up along the paths in the Naugatuck State Forest where I was walking around today. The ice is receding from the lakes, and that means more space for water birds to swim around.

These Common Mergansers (click on the picture to zoom in) were enjoying the newly-open water, and a few Mallards were in attendance as well. Am I crazy, or is the female Merganser (on the left) more interesting and visually appealing than the male (on the right)? I know he has his fancy dark-green head and all, but I think she's just beautiful.

[As a side note, the ice is definitely melting, yet I still saw two people standing in the middle of the lake today, ice fishing.... I suppose they must have tested the ice to make sure it was safe, but doesn't this seem a little risky at this time of year?]

As I was leaving the woods, I startled this foraging chipmunk. He (or she) was kind enough to pose for a photo before scurrying away. Chipmunks hibernate during the winter (or at least, they stay in their holes, as the internet tells me), so I'm taking this as another sign that Spring is coming.

So wake up, furry creatures; wake up, plants! There's warmer weather and lots of rain coming in the next few days -- it's time for Spring!

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