Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring arriving, day by day

Robins are arriving in good numbers here on Roundtop. The worms are up, so the robins are here. I have noticed that none of the robin yet have the white spots on the outer tail feathers that marks their breeding plumage. At this point, when I see robins, I see them in flocks. They don’t appear to be settling in or defending territories yet.

No hint of greenery is peeking through the brown of last year’s grasses, but waterfowl are moving north, robins are here, and the nights are no longer always below freezing. The days have been gloomy and gray, though don’t bring much-needed rain. Primarily because snowfall was non-existent here this past winter, the area is now 4 inches behind in precipitation, an amount that can not easily or quickly be made up. My seedlings are now sun-starved and grow long and stringy from the lack.

The spring hawkwatchers are starting their watches, though the numbers of birds spotted are still low, and many report more sightings of geese or siskins than of raptors. I have not yet heard spring peepers, but I have glimpsed a frog on one of my dog walks. As it was more of a splash than a frog, I can’t tell you what kind it was.

Spring is here in many ways, though the woods don’t yet look much like spring. The forest still looks like November, though without the ice. The evenings are warmer, and smell of good earth. The birds know it is time to move north; more arrive or move through each day. Soon the first shoots will push through the softening ground and the woods will turn green again.

6 comments:

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robins here are not in breeding dress, either. But it will reach 70 degrees today, the sun is shining, and birds are singing. Spring's wildflowers can't be far off.

Carolyn H said...

Grizzled: I'm thinking that as soon as I get a little sun, the grass will turn green, since that's the first thing to get green. I was a little surprised yesterday as I was driving here and there that I didn't see anyplace where the grass was green yet. No 70 degree temps here today. I don't think 60 is called for yet--maybe tomorrow.

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

What I always see first here are those bright-green clumps of what I call "onion grass." (I don't actually know what the stuff is called—but from a distance you might mistake it for a grass, though upon examination the shoots, though tiny in diameter, are hollow and "oniony" in smell and taste.). Anyway, there a lot of it hereabouts, along paths and roadways, even in the woods, and these these green patches precede real grass.

BTW, it is 64 degrees right now and still climbing out, and the woods along the river is ringing with birdsong. Your days like this can't be too far away.

Carolyn H said...

Grizzled: we call that stuff onion grass, too. I haven't even seen any of that yet, but I know it can't be far away.

Carolyn H.

am said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoy seeing these signs of spring at your blog, and I saw a flock of robins a few days ago, too, and a solitary robin at my suet feeder on my second story porch.

Kind wishes!

Carolyn H said...

am: a robin at the suet feeder is a new one on me. That's a pretty cool sighting!

Carolyn H.