Glimpses of Spring

Categories Nature Study

I’ve been mulling over what to do with my nature blog. It has been about nine months since I posted anything there. I’m thinking of trying to import the content to Across the Page and include the occasional nature post here instead of maintaining a separate blog. It’s not that I’ve lost interest, only that the places have become familiar enough that I don’t take as many pictures.

A few weeks ago, I learned that Ezra, the male hawk in Cornell’s red-tail nest cam, had died. We haven’t followed the cam closely since 2012, the first year it was installed, but it was sad news that brought back memories of the trips our family had made to the Cornell campus to observe and photograph the hawk pair.

It has been awhile since we visited the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, so yesterday we took a ride up there to experience a gorgeous early spring day. Flowers were beginning to bloom, and yellow was the color of the day.

Fig buttercup
Colt’s foot

We drank in the colors and the light reflecting off the moss and water.

I never noticed before, but the boardwalk/bridge has a crazy curve to it. Leaning over the rail, we watched some minnows sporting in the current.

There are no leaves out to speak of yet, but the trees furnished an interesting variety of textures and patterns in their bark, mosses, and lichens.

Beech bark

Bracket fungus. It suggested to me rows of tiny ears, facing forward, listening hard.
We all agreed that this seems like a miniature Weathertop, from LOTR.

At one trail intersection, I heard a faint tapping sound. Turning in search of the culprit, I saw a spray of sawdust flung out to the left from a tall, slender trunk. It turned out to be a chickadee, excavating a nest cavity.

Older Daughter and I crept around to the other side and watched him/her work.

That hole is deeper than it looks!

Eventually the chickadee noticed us.

That was the end of the party. But it’s always a treat to see one of the “little people of the Green Meadows and Green Forest” (as Thornton Burgess calls them) about their business.

There were a few others as well. The pond was chock full of turtles sunning themselves on logs, and big snapping turtles showing only a head and the dome of a huge shell as they cruised the water. This little painted turtle found a private lounge to hang out — or rather, hang on.

I’m not a huge fan of geese, but there was a pair of them in a little, green-scummed pond hidden away from the main drag, and I have to admit that the male had an air of distinction.

On the whole, it was an easy, very pleasant walk that satisfied the girls and I with sounds and colors of spring.

 

3 thoughts on “Glimpses of Spring

  1. This post was well worth your, and my, time. And here, perhaps, some words of encouragement:
    “I have no project to work on, no special subject to ponder. But in past years projects have never failed to suggest themselves and subjects for pondering never failed to pop up. To the best of my ability I shall play the amateur biologist and philosopher as the occasion demands. If I see something, think something, or remember something which strikes me as communicable and likely to be even one-tenth as interesting to others as it has been to me I shall write it down.”
    “Even an amateur like myself will seldom lack something to see if he will only look. ‘Lift up your eyes unto the hills’ is a religious exhortation. ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard,’ is a scientific one. And, at least for certain temperaments, it is the more fruitful. Because I obey it, the place where I am is never really the same place two days in succession, and I can take every morning the same short walk down to a certain wood road because it is not really the same walk.”
    Both from Joseph Wood Krutch
    And a little more severely –
    “If these fields and streams and woods, the phenomena of nature here, and the simple occupations of the inhabitants should cease to interest and inspire me, no culture or wealth would atone for the loss.” 11 March 1856, Henry Thoreau

  2. I do enjoy seeing your nature photos- it may not seem like much notice since I don’t comment often but I hope you continue to post them, whether here or on the book blog.

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