Apr. 8, 2017: Seeing the snow go
On our first spring trip to our Nature Study Area, we could have used both snow boots and rubber boots. We tramped through acres of snow still deep enough to go over the tops of rubber boots, but there were also pools of meltwater that proved irresistible. Rubber boots or no, we soon had water soakers as well as snow down our boots. It was the first warm day, however and nothing aquatic could be seen. On land, however, the opening ground had released a small number of feebly kicking insects: Stink Bugs green (Acrosternum hilare) and brown (Podisus serieventris), and one green Assassin Bug (Zelus luridus)
Julia drew attention to a large, dead tree with something tapping inside. Drawing close, Rob recognized the slow, heavy pounding of a Pileated Woodpecker, yet Julia was right, it was inside the tree. When we drew back, a male Pileated stuck its head out an opening and started flinging out little bits of wood. Then we noticed that the snow under the tree was littered with thousands of wood fragments. The bird was chiseling out a nest cavity.
Other birds were signaling spring, too: we heard a Robin, a Song Sparrow, a Brown Creeper, a Junco, a Black-capped Chickadee, and a Phoebe singing.