Monday, April 2, 2018

Signs of Spring Along Moreau's Shore

The sun was so bright today and the sky so blue, I was tempted out to search for signs of spring along the shore of Moreau Lake.  I still found much evidence of winter, however, with the forest hollows still covered in snow and the lake still mostly covered with ice.

I'm afraid it will still be some time before the vernal pools will melt, to resound with the trills of Spring Peepers and the deep-throated croaks of Wood Frogs.  But I could see through the trees that the lake ice was beginning to retreat from the shore, with open water now darkly gleaming beneath the sun.

Eager to reach the sunlit shore of the lake, I set off on the campground road, mincing my way along on slippery ice.

When I reached the sun-warmed eastern banks of the first cove, I dropped to my knees to search for the wee little basal rosettes of Draba verna, a tiny Mustard-family flower that is among the very first flowers to bloom in spring.  I had found a huge patch blooming last week in the parking lot of the Wilton Mall, but here I found only the leaves, centered by tightly closed buds.  The noted naturalist Aldo Leopold wrote some charming words about this adorable little flower in his famous Sand County Almanac. I have quoted his words in a former blog, which you can read here.  You will also see the cute little white flowers on that blogpost, flowers I hope we will see very soon along the shore of Moreau Lake.

Finally I reached the broad sandy shore of the lake, where it felt so good to walk unimpeded, no snow or ice to slow my steps, but only the sun-warmed sand, soft beneath my feet.

I stood by the water's edge, mesmerized by the underwater golden ripples moving across the sandy bottom, flashing and dancing as if in celebration of the water's liberation from its prison of ice.

It did feel good, to stand there basking in the sun.  I think this little spider was enjoying the sun's warmth, too, because it did seem loathe to leave when I poked my camera in close.

Here, too, was another sun lover, a Spotted Newt, suspended unmoving in shallow water above the sand.

Out on the lake, a flock of Canada Geese had found wide areas of open water, where they swam in circles, constantly babbling to one another about how lovely this blue-sky day was, and how it won't be long before they have this whole lake to swim in, and won't that be grand?  At least, that's what it sounded like to me!


threecollie said...

I've walked the exposed riverbed the past couple of days. Isn't it great to get your feet on good ground and stride right out after all the tippy-toeing of winter! Love your photos and thoughts,

Woody Meristem said...

The cardinals and Carolina wrens and song sparrows are singing now and the silver maples have bloomed -- spring is here.