If the old saw, “April showers bring May flowers” has much truth to it, May should be spectacular. This year I’ve seen a lot more April showers than I really care to. The mountain, and I guess much of the east, feels kind of stuck in a weather pattern that barely leaves a day of no rain in between spates of more rain. And lately, that day of no rain hasn’t been much to write home about. As often as not the no rain day looks as though it’s going to rain buckets at any second, even if it doesn’t. Until today.
Today is this April’s all-too-rare sunny day. My eyes are so unused to the sun that I was wearing sunglasses by 7:30 a.m. this morning. And for the first time this year, the dawn chorus of birds and frogs was singing loudly, if still populated largely by robins and cardinals.
The forest is starting to sprout. The tops of the mayapples are just breaking through the ground. At Roundtop, the understory is starting to appear, though I have the sense the growth is a bit later than it’s been for a few years. Not late in the sense of a 20-years ago late, but late when compared to the earlier springs of perhaps the past decade or so. All of which has me thinking, well, hoping actually, that this might be a good year to see warblers here on the mountain.
Warblers, spring’s colorful little jewels, are biologically primed to arrive when certain buds and the bugs that love them appear. Each species has its preference at the bug buffet, but in recent springs, the buds and bugs are out before the warblers arrive. One result of that I’ve noticed, is that the warblers don’t hang around very long before flying ever northward. It seems that they barely light before they are moving north again in search of that ultimate bugfest. This year, perhaps the timing will be closer to normal and give me a chance to see more of those little beauties. I can only hope.