Thursday, May 12, 2011

Long days and spring rains bring...

... wildflowers galore! The woods are decorated with splashes of color both above and below this week. Warm, wet weather and longer days have coaxed wildflowers out of their slumber. On a recent bike ride along the Rims I spotted shooting stars (right), spring beauties (below), wild white lilies, and a lovely yellow flower in the pea family. In gardens tulips and daffodils are in full bloom. Lilacs are sure to emerge soon and sweetly scented breezes will blow across town.

At this time of year it is hard not to feel happy and full of life. The songs of birds fill the air as they stake out their territories and call for mates. While we have enjoyed our friends the chickadees and woodpeckers for the past few months, other feathered friends have been to southern climes where warm weather and food were abundant. They have now returned, adding their songs and vivid colors to the canopies. Yellow warblers (right), tree swallows, goldfinches (below), house wrens, mergansers, spotted sandpipers, the list goes on and on! As each species returns, I make note of it in my journal. Next year I can compare the birds' arrival and departure times with the weather and their presence/absence this year. The joy of phenology comes from watching patterns emerge and noting aberations from the norm. Nature is full of many a marvel!