Saturday, April 9, 2011
Spring Inches North Along the Bikepath
I don't think Sue is really praying here, although she may be thinking "Hallelujah, Spring is here!" as she catches the furry poplar catkins a treeful of goldfinches is tossing down to her. We had come today to the Warren County Bikepath in Queensbury to look for Wood Frogs in the wetlands that line the path, but we stopped short when we felt ourselves pelted by these fluffy soft catkins, spring flowers of the poplar trees.
The day started cold enough to freeze the surface of the frog ponds (no, we didn't find any frogs here yet), but the temperature climbed as the day wore on and we headed north to other favorite spots along the bikepath. Our next stop was a beautiful wetland Sue calls The Fen, a marshy area where a number of bog plants grow, adjacent to Glen Lake.
This wetland is a heaven for birds, both waterfowl and tree-dwellers like this Song Sparrow, trilling its little heart out in the budding branches of a small maple.
Many different kinds of berry bushes grow abundantly here to provide ample food for the birds year-round, including such normally migratory birds as robins and bluebirds. Considering how many birds do winter over here, we were surprised to find this Smooth Sumac still laden with fruit. Such a gorgeous velvety red!
After basking in a warm bright sun during lunch on the outdoor deck of a restaurant on Glen Lake, we shed our coats and headed still further north along the bikeway. Imagine our chagrin when we found the bikeway north of Glen Lake Road still socked in with snow. Look how red that biker's legs are. Are they hot from the effort of pushing his bike through deep snow? Or chapped from the cold?
Sue decided that the only way we were ever going to get rid of all this snow is to eat it!
Ah, but how can we despair of spring when the streamlets are running clear, with Water Striders darting across the sunlit surface? See, this one has captured the sunlight in its arms!
We heard on the radio that the temperature could climb into the 80s by Monday. Take that, you snow banks!