Coiled spring

IMG_2372Yesterday afternoon I went to the local botanical garden with a friend to walk in the sun on the unusally warm February 7 day. We saw honeybees out gathering pollen from the few plants that were blooming, including a witchazel (Hamamelis intermedia). Also lots of daffodil and tulip bulbs coming up. And this morning early Dennis and I went out to the arboretum to get a baseline take on spring happenings. There is so much energy just under the earth you can almost feel it, so much going on, plants coiled just out of sight, waiting to spring forth. We found, on the south-facing hillsides and planes in the woods, some early indications of the earliest spring flowers. Here is a sampling.
First, because he is too beautiful to leave out, here is a true bug (Hemiptera) I found on the wall in our hallway the other night when it was 10 degrees outside. I moved him to a niche in the basement where the cats wouldn’t eat him (but a spider might, I suppose). IMG_2353 Here are the bees near their hive IMG_2358, and the witchazel some were working on: IMG_2356

Raccoon lunch

Raccoon lunch

IMG_2366When we got to the arboretum this morning the first thing we saw was the tame wild turkey from the neighboring farm. Mary Isabelle was unadorned as of yet. IMG_2370

The sun was just rising.  IMG_2385

We heard, then saw, a pair of pileated woodpeckers. IMG_2375
The pond was full; no spring peepers yet. IMG_2382
The glade IMG_2392

Possum brother was bumbling about in the woods, you need to look carefully but you can see his white face: IMG_2405
Rue Anemone, I think (the penny is there for perspective) IMG_2408 IMG_2406
Dutchman’s Breeches IMG_2417 IMG_2411
Jacob’s ladderIMG_2423
Snail shell IMG_2425
Columbine IMG_2432

The big prairie has been burned since last we were here.  IMG_2442
The buzzards are back IMG_2444
And, unbelievably for February 8, a few turtles were out sunning! IMG_2449

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