Sunday, March 15, 2015

first signs

A crocus, a bee...a redwing blackbird "okaleeee!"

Creeks flooding their banks, climbing onto the road...

And today, on a walk with Dan, the unexpected sound (I mean there is still snow in the shadiest turns and hollers) of peepers! They're here! No other sound is more spring to me than peepers.

The fields we walked past are tranformed for a few weeks into vernal ponds, and today they were alive with frogs.  

Redbellied Woodpecker
The week has been wet and warm, and we've run outside to enjoy the sun when it's appeared.

birdwatching from the roof

The girls and I got out to put some juice into our tree studies.  We collected some twigs to study and draw back home.

Our identification skills aren't too sharp in this area, but we focused on learning the characteristics of twigs - the leaf scars, the terminal and lateral buds, the bud scales, the positions of the buds (opposite, alternate, whorled) - and came away with the knowledge that someone could use these features to identify different species!  We did all right with a few - the dogwood was easy, and the cherry - but we'll have to confirm some of our suspicions once things leaf out.  

Sometimes I think it's worth looking at something more closely just to know that these details are there, that a mark so small can be an important part of a tree's signature.  To know something exists. 

There was also a birthday party this weekend for our friend Osha, with Garfield-and-Pi-themed games, and a Pi pie and a chocolate fountain, which doesn't have anything to do with Pi or Garfield, but who wouldn't want a chocolate fountain at their birthday?  I called to see how it was all going before heading out to collect one of my girls, and I could hardly stop laughing when Jen told me that when the kids were making up games to play she threw out the suggestion "why don't you see who can be still the longest? (a la Garfield the lazy cat)" and they did it! For an hour! And to make it even funnier, Ani, the girl who needs to be drumming or getting lost in a repetitive sound for so much of her day, tied at one hour ten minutes!!  These kids crack me up. The prize was a book of Garfield comics, so she was extremely motivated.

There was also a four-day-old calf roaming about the farm.  You can't get much springier than that.

1 comment:

Kerry said...

Yay for spring peepers! And adorable little brown calves too. As for trying to id branches and twigs without leaves, it's like trying to id a person with a bag over their head: really hard.