Friday, March 21, 2014

Winter Hangs On

Sure, we've had colder, snowier winters than this one.  But gosh, this winter seems to be hanging on longer than others I remember.  The vernal equinox came and went and still it continues cold, with a thick layer of snow that hasn't budged from the woods.  It even snowed a little, early today.  By afternoon, I could see small patches of blue in an otherwise leaden sky, and I dearly wanted to go for a walk, but where could I go that wasn't still knee deep in that icy white stuff?  Ah yes, there's the Spring Run Trail near Excelsior Avenue in Saratoga Springs.  That's a paved trail that runs for about a mile along a pretty wooded creek, and I was delighted to discover that its paved surface had even been plowed.

The creek that runs along the trail was free from ice and was splashing and dancing, filling the air with the music of tumbling water.  Here, at least, it was starting to SOUND a little bit like spring.

Ah, but just a bit further along, the REAL sounds of spring truly rang out.  I couldn't catch a glimpse of them out there among the phragmites and cattails, but I sure could hear the buzzing, chunking calls of male Redwinged Blackbirds.  This is not the prettiest of birdsongs, I admit, but boy, it sure is among the most welcome!

No swelling buds or new green leaves could yet be seen, but the willows were certainly brightening up their yellow branches.

I arrived at a tiny rill where I'd always found Skunk Cabbage growing before, and I'd hoped I might find some swelling spathes poking out of the snow.  This is a plant that can make its own heat, even enough heat to sometimes melt the snow around it.  But I doubt it could melt the foot or more that was piled on top today.

Aha!  I found one! But only one.  It looks like the plant has melted a circle of snow around itself, but the tight green shoots are no more advanced than they appeared last fall.  Looks like we'll have to keep waiting a bit longer to welcome our first flower of spring.


The Furry Gnome said...

Watching for signs of spring here too - longer days, warmer sun, snow starting to collapse, creeks opening, but then we got a fresh 6" last night!

June said...

The best I can say about this old tired winter not giving up is that the snow isn't melting all at once and flooding the creeks.
That's about the best I can say.

threecollie said...

Hooray for red-winged black birds! Haven't seen one yet this year, but today we had our first grackle and our first turkey vultures.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Oh Furry, 6 new inches? It can get discouraging, can't it, but we know that one of these days, Spring will come. Thanks for stopping by.

June, keep thinking positive! It's been so cold, I think the snow will evaporate before it melts.

Ah, the Turkey Vulture! The first bird of spring,but one rarely celebrated by the poets. Birders like you, threecollie, know how to appreciate it.

Thanks so much, dear readers, for all your comments. I dearly love knowing you come along with me on my adventures.