Spring is a long time coming this year, especially along the lakeshore – so we can expect it may give way to summer in a great rush.
In the marsh the vegetation looks brown and dry – but a muskrat can still find a fresh green salad, simply by uprooting a cattail.
Underneath the trees in the garden there isn’t a lot of colour either, though last year’s hydrangea leaves still cut a sharp figure against the dark damp soil.
Just a few inches away, however, things are changing fast. Like rhubarb, the Mayapple is one of those plants that emerge from the ground with leaves already fully formed.
Within a few days, these new shoots have spread their umbrellas.
The Scilla is next to flash some dazzling colour, followed within a few days by Lungwort.
Robins have been hanging around waiting for spring for a full month. Likewise, the Red-wing blackbirds have endured weeks of freezing temperatures, not to mention an ice storm in mid-April.
It’s a long time to put up with unseasonable cold, just to be first in line for prime nesting sites. Fortunately for these birds, the clouds of midges that often darken our skies can provide a change in diet after weeks of scrounging last year’s leftover seeds.
Top photo: Eats roots and leaves (full-size version here)