Spring Signs

daffodils

This week has been sunny and springlike, a welcome change from the snow and storms of February. Yesterday afternoon I went out with my camera to search for signs of spring. In our yard, daffodils were emerging from the fall leaves…

rosebush

…and this rosebush was showing new growth. Didn’t know if it had made it through the winter, so I was glad to see it.

crocuses

Down the road some naturalized crocuses were open in someone’s yard. We used to have them in ours, but they all got eaten by voles. As I walked around the neighborhood I listened for the calls of birds and frogs. It’s too early for migrating songbirds, but resident Cardinals and Tufted Titmice were singing their territorial calls. Carolina Wrens were too, but they call all year, so that’s nothing new or seasonal. No Spring Peeper frogs calling yet, but I did hear a few others, I think they were leopard frogs, but I’m not sure.

It’s a bit further than I usually walk, but I went to a place where I had once seen Skunk Cabbage one spring years ago, and sure enough, they were still there.

skunkcabbage

This woodland plant is one of the first in our area to emerge in spring from the wet, muddy streamsides and marshy spots it likes. The green shoot is the beginning of the cabbagy leaves that will spread out much more soon. The plants were already emitting a strong odor, not as unpleasant as a real skunk, but it does get your attention! I’ve never actually seen the yellow flowers that come later, I’ll have to try coming back in a few weeks to see if they’re out. In any case, when I was a boy this plant’s appearance in the woods was a sure sign of spring, and so it remains.

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