Monday, May 01, 2006

Spring Colors

The redbud is already starting to fade. The ends of the branches are leafing out, so the pink buds will soon be gone.

This morning I had several black-throated green warblers singing and darting about in the trees over the driveway. A small army of yellow-rumped warblers was also in evidence, though none of the other 18 or so species of warblers I'd like to find.

It feels like fewer warblers arrive with every passing year. I can remember years when the trees were alive with them. I hardly knew where to look next. Years ago I used to work swing shift, and one morning after coming home from the night shift, I pulled in to my driveway only to be surrounded by 20 or more chestnut-sided warblers. Those little guys were all over the place and seemed more than a little put out that I was trying to drive into my driveway. They were on either side of the drive, over the drive, everywhere. I don't know that I've had even one since then.

Another time, I had redstarts--a beautiful black and red warbler--a dozen or more of them. People always talk about how the warblers are being pushed out by deforestation in their South American wintering grounds. And that is true. But they are just as pushed up here on their nesting grounds, and saving the rainforest won't help if we don't also save our eastern forests.

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