There are definite signs of spring up here in Maine. Everyday there is something new to observe. Most trees, however, are showing their forms without the patterning of leaves to obscure their branches. The Ospreys are back at the nest near Shaw's in Bath, and I've seen them feeding in Center Pond now that the ice is mostly melted. Cormorants were also swimming and diving in Center Pond which may be a bit warmer than the ocean right now. Frogs are vocal, but I have yet to see one.......hopefully tomorrow when I will go on a Vernal Pool outing with local kids from the Phippsburg School.
If you keep an eye out for trees to bud and leaf out, the only activity so far is swollen buds and a few catkins throwing pollen to the breezes. Pussy Willows are blooming with their fuzzy catkins, but also poplars are showing new growth. In the woods, I have seen buds on Trailing Arbutus and new emerging leaflets of Fawn Lily. Of course, there are patches of crocuses in people's yards, and my Daffodils are budded and waiting to bring forth yellow blossoms.
I've started garden cleanups and am ready to plant a few peas, though it may be a bit early. The flower beds need a lot of clearing, but I'm finding a lot of worms and a few beetles as I pull and dig weeds. There are a lot of animal nests in among the Iris and Lilies, but the animals seem to have left them empty. My bird feeder has a lot of activity, including male Goldfinches that have almost turned gold with their black markings!
As some of you know, I keep an eye out for roadkills and yesterday spotted one that I had never seen before. I wonder if you can recognize this animal. It is always sad to see these animals end their lives without mercy from our vehicles, and this was no exception. I believe it to be a Gray Fox. Red Fox are more common, and I've seen them in my yard recently, but here in Maine we have Gray Foxes too.
4/13/11 Ronnie, ushering in Spring.........