Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Starting up for pond and stream for the year

The snow and ice finally melted enough so we could start the pond and stream again. A real sign of spring, even though there's not yet much green.

It always amazes us that it's so easy to get started each year--just pop in the pump, which has been in a bucket of water in the basement all winter, plug it in, and it starts. (Of course, the water is finger-freezing cold while setting in the pump and so on, but that's John's job, not mine...)

The birds noticed immediately that their small flowerpot-saucer birdbath had been replaced with a "real" stream. I expect the robins will be especially happy, since they're our stream's most dedicated bathers.

It's so nice to again hear the stream flowing, though it's still so cold that we have to go outside to hear it.

Next spring milestone we're awaiting: toads singing!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Robins like winterberries in spring, too

These winterberries (Ilex verticillata) may be wizened and not nearly as appealing as they were during the winter, but now that the northern mockingbird is no longer claiming them as his own, this robin is getting a meal.

Fresh new berries won't be available until the serviceberries (Amelanchier canadense) are ready in June.