Friday, March 27, 2009

A Superfine Spring Day


So many things today said SPRING!  First, it was actually HOT!  Seventy degrees, no clouds, no wind.  No jacket.  Not even a sweater.  And then I found the first flower of spring that actually looks like a flower: COLTSFOOT! (No, that is not a dandelion.)  Then I rolled down my window while passing a marsh and what did I hear?  SPRING PEEPERS!  Oh man, could it get any better than this?

Yes it could.  I went to Mud Pond where the ice has retreated from shore and walked along close to the water.  Every footfall of mine caused quite a commotion in the shallows close to shore.  What looked at first like a bunch of eels wriggling into the muck turned out to be NEWTS!  Thousands of them, floating just under the water, taking a sunbath,  then taking a dive as my shadow passed over them. 
A floating newt

 Peering a little closer, I also saw TADPOLES!  Big fat green ones like the one in the photo and lots of itsy bitsy black ones, too. At least I thought they were tadpoles. The wee ones moved so fast my eyes couldn't quite glom on to them.  There were MINNOWS! too, and FLIES! and other BUGS! --  some in the air, some on top of and under the water.

A big fat tadpole

 And then there was this lovely SPIDER! who was resting on a floating leaf on the water.  Now, that is one gorgeous blonde!  Could she be a fishing spider?  Could she be eating those little black rice-shaped things on the leaf?  What are those little black rice-shaped things on the leaf?  I don't know.

There's so much I don't know.  But this I do:  there sure were a lot of critters enjoying this fine Spring day along with me.


catharus said...

Exciting! Wonderful!
Yeh, last weekend I went to a spot that is always great for spring wildflowers and all that was blooming yet were coltsfoot and the first hepaticas. I was hoping to see a few of the other early ones...Harbinger of spring or Early meadowrue.
But soon I'll have to get out to check on the arbutus....

Woodswalker said...

Thanks for your comments, Catharus! Yes, it is such an exciting time for wildflower lovers: the next 2 weeks here should bring hepatica, white violet, periwinkle, bloodroot, spicebush, leatherwood, and marsh marigold. And then all Heaven breaks loose: dozens of spring ephemerals all at once! I get writer's cramp from keeping my flower journal. Happy hunting!

NatureGirl said...

OH, Man - you are SOOOO far ahead of us, Jackie! We maybe hit 60 on Saturday, but so far things are still icy, snowy, and non-bloomiong! I'm jealous!

Woodswalker said...

My sympathies, Nature Girl. It seemed that winter just wouldn't leave, and then BINGO! spring arrived. There's no fooling those Spring Peepers! But we've had major snowstorms in April before, although the sun eats it right up again.

When will your internet come back up? I'm missing my favorite blog Adirondack Naturalist. Thanks for finding a way to stop by.

greentangle said...

Excellent spider, whatever the species!