Spring peepers already

We went to the arboretum this warm February day to see what might be poking out of the ground and see what the birds are up to. The biggest surprise was hearing spring peepers and tree frogs, neither of whom I recall ever hearing this early in the season. We saw and heard wave after wave of snow geese way up high in migration form, literally thousands of them, heading back north for the breeding season. Closer to earth we saw lots of chickadees in big groups-what a social little bird- likewise bluebirds. Hawks in their airborne ballet, circling higher and higher, calling out for what I’m not sure, mating call probably, since they were in pairs and threes and fours. Also lots of lively chipmunks who, according to my calendar, don’t come out of hibernation until February 21st, and on south-facing hills the foliage of Dutchman’s Breeches was gathering up sunlight for flower production. My calendar also says killdeer begin arriving on February 25th, but I’ve already seen and heard them. At home people are feeling their oats in the warmth- driving fast, playing their radios loud, trekking to the QuickStop, stopping to talk and visit.

Glade, February 20, 2011

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