Phenology Friday: Warm weather comes...and goes.
When that first night of truly warm spring rain hits, the Spotted Salamanders know it’s time. Under the cover of heavy clouds, plentiful rain, and warm breezes, the week began with a momentous evening of migration. Spotted Salamanders traveled from the shelter of the forest floor to the pond to begin the next generation. They gathered in the shallows below clamoring Wood Frogs, yellow spots flashing in luminous dance.
In the morning, temperatures had fallen, snow was on the ground, and the amphibians were nowhere to be found. The events of the night could have almost been discounted as a dream, had it not been for fresh eggs left in the shelter of the water.
Though no new feathered arrivals have set up shop, a few Canada Geese have been heard overhead, on their way to the more open farm and wetlands nearby. Those birds already in residence continue with business as usual, the American Crows seeming especially raucous in their interactions. A Barred Owl has been spending snowy mornings perched at the edge of the clearing, where the first determined leaves of Trout Lily are beginning to reach up from the duff. Down the street, a utility pole serving as a Black Bear marking post sported newly scraped wood. It might be wishful thinking, but the bare branches on the distant hillside seem ever so slightly flushed brighter with developing buds.
And so slowly, slowly the world continues waking up, stretching and yawning. Would the rush of life to come be so sweet without the lead-up?