Saturday, April 8, 2017

Spring Beginnings, with a Dash of Snow

We got a sprinkling of snow last night, and temperatures were hovering around freezing when I went with some friends to check out the Etna Nature Preserve this morning:
 

It may not look it, but spring is happening, I swear! Up until today, we've had a streak of rainy and warm-ish weather, and these woods were showing signs of spring. Skunk Cabbage was blooming (although it's probably been blooming for a while) and starting to unfurl green leaves:
 

Tiny Trout Lily leaves were coming up, looking like little spears in the snow:
 

We even found pink flowers on a small leafless shrub that turned out to be a non-native garden escapee, Daphne mezereum:


A couple of Eastern Phoebes were calling and flycatching and working on constructing a nest under the eaves of a nearby house. Hello wonderful birds, and welcome back!
 

So yes, it felt like winter today, but we're well into the beginning of spring. Spring Peepers have been singing loudly every night (except last night) around our house, and I saw this Red Eft (juvenile Red-spotted Newt) wandering across marshy water at the Roy H. Park Preserve earlier this week:


Hooray for amphibians and flowers and returning birds! Hooray for spring!