Sunday, April 22, 2007

For the birds

The morning was pleasant with some sun and clouds, which is turning over to rain this afternoon. Since this was a day off from running, I went for a 2 1/2 hour hike through the local regional park with my binoculars in tow. I thought I would do a little bird watching, and I am really glad I did.

It is astonishing how green it is getting around here. I am not sure if this picture does any justice, but you can see the leaves have started to sprout.

A trail in the park with leaves emerging on the trees



I am excited to report that some warblers have arrived! This is a very exciting thing for birders, because these gorgeous little songbirds are only here for a short time. Some do nest around here, but a good number of them are only passing through on their way from the tropics to their nesting grounds in Canada.

Today I saw the yellow-rumped (a.k.a., “Myrtle”) warbler, the Tennessee warbler, and, what was a first for me that I got to add to my birding life list, the palm warbler. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see these birds. They are so beautiful, and there are a sure sign that summer is just around the corner!

I saw other new arrivals today as well. There were a number of tiny ruby-crowned kinglets flitting about in the shrubs and underbrush. One was even hopping around in a spruce tree a mere 5 feet from me, so I got a great look at her. Such a cute bird.

The birds were busy and active today, and I saw most of the usual suspect on my journey (chickadees, cardinals, red-winged blackbirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, and the pair of ospreys). I’ve started to notice dragonflies and other insects emerging. The green darners were cruising down by the swamp. And I saw my first red admiral butterfly of the season.

A great morning to be outside. And the rain just started as I am typing this, so I am in for the day! Things will really be greening up in a hurry after this precipitation.

I am making a pork stir-fry dish for dinner tonight, and I still have plenty of prep work, so I must get busy!

Nature rules,

Jean
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