Monday, May 12, 2014

Signs of Spring

Even though Spring "officially" arrived back in March, it hasn't felt like Spring here until recently. Spring peepers are one of the first signs of Spring that I eagerly anticipate. Their joyful sound is a delight to hear. Another sign that I await is the first sighting of Painted Turtles on ponds and lakes in the area.
One of my favorite rides passes by a number of small lakes where, once the ice has melted and warm enough weather has arrived, Painted Turtles can be seen hauled out on partially submerged fallen trees or logs. I saw the first Painted Turtles this Spring on May 8, three of them on two different lakes.
On Sunday, we saw over 30 Painted Turtles on four different lakes. On one log alone there were 17 turtles crowded next to each other. I tried to quietly and stealthily get a photograph but, even though I was a good distance away, they still spooked and slid into the water before I was successful. However, I did manage to photograph nine turtles on another log nearby.
And another joyful sign of Spring is the birds that are newly arriving, like the Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, one of my favorites. I spotted the first male Grosbeaks on May 8 and, the next day, the first females as well as the first Baltimore Orioles, both male and female. Interesting that the Oriole is so orange in color and loves oranges!

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