There is much to quicken the pulse at this time of year. So much to see, hear and appreciate.
Frogs and salamanders awake in these long-anticipated days of early spring. Buds swell and the first wildflowers unfurl their petals to greet the warming sun. Rain and meltwater coaxes green from the moist earth.
Migrant birds reclaim territories in the still leafless woods. One is the winter wren, whose ethereal voice cascades from hidden perches among cedar and hemlock.
There is much to quicken the pulse at this time of year. So much to see, hear and appreciate. The earliest blossoms of our lovely woodland wildflowers, for example, including spring beauty and hepaticas daubed white, pink and purple.
Leatherwood, a glorious woodland shrub with the form of a muscular mature tree, is blooming. Its yellow flowers spangle escarpment woodlands. Tilt your nose to them to inhale a subtle but delightful scent.
Frog songs reverberate in the spring woods: the ubiquitous piping of spring peepers, the guttural quacking of wood frogs, and in some locales, the creaky voices of chorus frogs.
And of course, there are the salamanders that engage in age-old mating rituals in woodland pools. The most common of these, the spotted salamander, is a creature of sublime beauty.
These salamanders enjoy a brief aquatic sojourn before they leave the ponds and retreat with their beauty underground for the remainder of the year. But they leave behind their precious eggs, seeds of another generation.
The ponds where frogs and salamanders breed are biotic soups filled with fascinating invertebrates. Water beetles and daphnia, backswimmers and fairy shrimp are all part of a great matrix of life animated by this turn of the seasons.
As the Covid pandemic holds us in its stubborn grip, a walk in the woods at this time of year can buoy spirits. Life renewed in all its glorious diversity.
Spring’s Wild BeautiesMar 31, 2013 | | Environment
The heart-gladdening beauty of early wildflowers is a signal all is right in the woodland. Which one is your favourite?
A Foraged FeastMar 21, 2016 | | Food
Skip the supermarket, find the ingredients for gourmet dining in forest, field and stream.
A Forest is More Than Its TreesSep 18, 2020 | | Environment
From deep in the earth to high in the sky, forests shelter teeming life.
Eastern Cottontail RabbitsMar 30, 2018 | | Notes from the Wild
Cottontails conceal themselves in dense thickets of shrubs and brambles.
Jack in the PulpitMay 14, 2012 | | Notes from the Wild
These plants can switch genders throughout their lives in response to growing conditions.
Luna MothsJun 8, 2011 | | Notes from the Wild
If you have seen a luna moth recently in Headwaters please let us know.
Spring Hikes on The Bruce TrailMar 26, 2018 | | Environment
Along the Bruce Trail, spring is the time to slow to a saunter and see, hear and scent nature’s renewal.
Spring PeepersApr 18, 2010 | | Notes from the Wild
On warm evenings in April and May our hills awaken to the life affirming voices of spring peepers. Their shrill calls stir the winter weary soul.
Hopping and Walkin’ in the RainOct 15, 2020 | | Notes from the Wild
This is the time of year to get out after dark and explore… especially as the rain falls.
Spring’s Croaking ChorusMar 23, 2012 | | Environment
Ten species of frogs and toads share our landscape, a rich assemblage of hopping amphibians for such a northerly clime.
A great article about the turning of the season, accompanied with fantastic images of Spring! It’s awesome seeing my grade 6 science teacher continuing to share his love for nature through his blogs. You’ve got yourself an inspired old student here Mr. Scallen 🙂
Dhruv on Apr 20, 2021 at 1:38 am |
Great to hear from you Dhruv! At the risk of inflating your ego, you were one of the most engaging science students I had the pleasure to teach 🙂 Thanks for your kind words and I hope you’re doing well!
Don Scallen on Apr 20, 2021 at 11:13 pm |