I had a strange encounter on Friday. At about 6:30PM, I looked out the front window of our house and there was a large turkey! I ran for my camera and found that large bird had moved over next to the front corner of the house. I walked right up to it and started taking pictures. The bird didn't seem to be too alarmed, though it would occasionally fluff its feathers. I got some sunflower seed from the nearby bird feeder to feed it. I think one wing was missing some significant flight feathers. I ran inside to see if my pictures "took" and then went out to see if it was enjoying the seeds. It was nowhere in sight! It was almost if I had dreamed up this encounter. But here is the proof of the pudding.
Turkeys are here year around, but maybe this one is looking for a mate. The Goldfinch are also here all year, but I've seen some males starting to take on the beautiful yellow and black plumage of a new season. We are all listening for frogs, and hearing the shrill calls of Red Winged Blackbirds as signs of spring. The first bloomer of the season was found, and here it is. At first glance it looks like a dandelion, but there are no green leaves. This is Coltsfoot. The flowers are held aloft by a scaly stalk. After the flower produces a seed head, green foliage emerges in the shape of a colt's foot. Last season's leaves are dried and brown in the picture. This plant is tolerant of harsh conditions. This one was growing right up through a rocky path. I often see them on the sides of roads, withstanding the sand and salt of winter plowing. It is a sure sign of spring.
We are gradually losing our ice and snow. The Lily Pond is now thawed and free of ice. I looked and listened for frogs here and along the Cattail Marsh, but saw none. Though this pond has lost its ice, there have still been a few daring fisherman out on Center Pond. All the fish shacks have been removed, however. You won't find me heading out over that ice.
There have been reports of Woodcock sightings, though I have not been fortunate enough to see one. At least the ground is thawing so their long beaks can probe for worms. Their nuptial flight is something out of this world. I'm still hoping to witness that. I love watching the plumage change of Goldfinch males. I also saw these birds taking a bath in a mud puddle this week. The Red Winged Blackbirds are giving their bizarre calls in establishing territories. March is going out like a lamb, thank goodness.
3/31/09 Ronnie, Marching into April!