Sunday, April 18, 2010

More signs of spring

We've seen more signs of spring during the last two weeks. One welcome even is that one pair of toads successfully mated, and the eggs are slowly developing--slowly because of the return of cold weather after some unseasonably warm days. The tadpoles should be wiggling soon and escaping from their gelatinous string of eggs they're in now. (I don't know the proper term for this...) We'll welcome as many toads as possible in our yard so they can assist us with reducing the slug population. Robins are also frequent visitors to our yard. One reason is that, of all the birds that visit, they seem to most love taking baths in the stream. Another reason, though, is that our yard has what they need right now: mud, bits of grass etc., and moss. They don't seem to be actually nesting in our yard, but more than one pair is using our "construction materials" for their nests. It's not hard to see why--most suburban areas are asphalt and turf grass! The chickadees seem to have settled on the driveway nestbox. I hope the wrens don't take it over again this year by filling it with sticks. That has happened fairly frequently in the past. I'm happy to see that our mayapples seem to be spreading a little, and that some of our bluebells that we started from seed a year ago last fall has managed to survive. It looks like some creature may eat their fleshy roots. Everything else seems to be growing well, too--a yearly miracle!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The toads are back again this year!

I'm back again, too, after a year of procrastinating. There have been a lot of things happening in my habitat garden --I just didn't have time to post them. The toads started singing two days ago, but are silent tonight - probably because it's 20 degrees colder tonight than it was last night. I know they're still around, though, since I saw them both in the pond skimmer all day. And since this is the last week of Project FeederWatch, it's a good time to start FrogWatch USA! The bumblebees are back, too. The big queens have been exploring for possible nesting sites. There's not a lot of nectar plants at the moment, but the bumblebee was enjoying the pussy willow. I love it when it's in full flower. I'm also excited to see all the spring wildflowers coming up. Some of the bloodroot is already blooming!