Friday, April 22, 2011
Spring is beginning to spring here on Roundtop Mtn. It's been a little tough to find amongst all the rainstorms, tornados and dense fog. Yesterday brought sunny weather for several hours. The chickens were glad to get out of their pen and roam around the woods. A few found worms, which to chickens is apparently a lot like finding gold. The others scratched and found other good stuff. They certainly had a good time. Who'd have thought that chickens would like the woods so much? They are pretty canny, too. Yesterday, I heard one squawk with the danger signal and went out to investigate. They'd all run back into the pen as a red-tailed hawk soared overhead. Smart girls!
A few migrants are starting to pass over as well. In dense fog on Wednesday morning I had blue-gray gnatcatcher, ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets. I've gotten reports of warblers elsewhere but so far they haven't visited here. Down at Lake Pinchot, a spotted sandpiper bobbled its way along the shoreline. Spring is still slow here, especially when compared to recent springs. I am only just starting to see the first hints of redbud trees, though I really have to know which trees to look at to see those red buds. Dogwood is also starting but only a few trees.
It's not just the rain that's kept spring from exploding. With a few days of exceptions, temperatures are averaging about 10 degrees lower than average. The few sunny days have been near normal, but there's been so few sunny days that they don't have much impact. So for now I am just waiting, still using the fireplace occasionally and waiting for the next batch of weekend rain. Spring will arrive eventually. In fact, at this point, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if spring pretty much bypassed this area entirely and ended up with summer being the next season on the mountain.