Through the past week’s intermittent rains returning migrants have joined our full-time residents around the bird feeders and in the marsh, while green shoots have begun to decorate muddy creek banks.
This Black-Capped Chickadee looks for food in a freshly-pruned Forsythia.
Our many sparrows include a Tree Sparrow (which likes to feed on the grass beneath a bird feeder) and a Song Sparrow (seen below on a fallen tree beside Bowmanville Creek).
Tree branches would barely show against the sticky mud flats along Soper Creek – except for the vivid mosses growing on the wood and the lichens growing on the moss.
One such lichen, Cladonia asahinae, grows particularly on Chorisodontium aciphyllum, Polytrichum strictum, and Andreaea species of moss. You may prefer an alternate description: these are the cups used by forest pixies to collect and drink the morning dew.
But the tall stems on this moss also do a good job of hanging on to a morning fog.
Just a few steps away some of the first big leaves are emerging from the same saturated mud.
The abundant moisture helps bring out the rich colour in fractured tree stumps.
Even on a dull morning in the marsh, Canada Geese have ways of adding their own colour.
But by late afternoon on a calm, clear day, it can be warm enough to climb up onto a log and dry off in the warm sun.
Top photo: Cardinal Number One (click here for larger view)