Friday, April 11, 2008


April 11: after a cold night and thunderstorms, flowers! Marsh marigolds pop into bloom while the skunk cabbages unfurl their new leaves. The red leaf-buds of the silver maples, that look so much like flowers, are opening where the trees hang over the water. Another tree is in bloom - I still don't know what it is.

Also various non-natives and invasives have started blooming, but I'm not counting them; since they are from somewhere else, their blooming doesn't signify anything.

Something I hadn't seen before: I've wondered why we are not infested with starlings, since they are so common in the downtown area of Three Rivers, which isn't that far away. Maybe an answer - I saw a starling this week. It was being mobbed by the grackles! I knew I liked grackles, with their shiny purple-black heads, yellow eyes and long tails. Lots of robins, lots and lots of house finches, a few nuthatches and cardinals. The woodpeckers aren't coming to the feeder. Geese are marching along the water's edge, the male watchful, his long neck stretched up high, while the female eats frantically. At one point a female was carried off by the swift current; she looked baffled, sailing backwards, while the male ran along the bank. They sometimes seem to forget that they can fly!

Clouds of mosquitos are rising in the swamp. Good for those that eat them. A sign of trouble to come; drifts of seeds washed into the swamp from the winter flooding. I recognize vast amounts of a twisty herbaceous vine that wraps all around the water willow growing upriver.