In springtime, visitors to the Preserve are in for so many treats of colors, sound and beauty, lifting our spirits and inviting us to contemplate the cycle of life. These earliest of flowers are already frequented by insects, busily gathering food and also pollinating for the next cycle to begin. Here is a small collection of photos from Glenda Denniston and some insects photographed by Mark Nofsinger and posted on iNaturalist. The big bumble bees seen in early spring are the queens that overwintered and are now gathering nectar and pollen to build cups and food balls for the next generation of bumble bees.
On her walks this spring in the Preserve, Friends Board member Olympia Mathiaparanam photographed a wonderful selection of early spring flowers ready to burst into bloom. Enjoy this virtual tour of familiar and fragile friends greeting us with ephemeral beauty during this Earth Day week. The Dutchmen's breeches hanging blossoms will mature into pearly white, the Jacob's ladder buds into azure blue, and the Bellwort shoots will strain upward for some time before nodding downward again with the weight of golden yellow flowers.
David Liebl observed this male Yellow-bellied sapsucker drilling sap wells in a young White Pine along the service road near the birding checklists—clearly, a methodical and persistent bird, not wasting any bark access that might yield nourishment.
On his bird survey walks in Bill's Woods this April, David Liebl encountered an American Black Duck, not often seen, especially in the woods. Apparently she had decided that this big tree trunk, exposed to the sun, was a good place for building a nest. the next day David saw her sitting on the nest ..., well camouflaged. Nearby, he also spotted a herd (!!) of six deer.
Every day there are new arrivals. Enjoy your walks along the Bay and to the tip of Picnic Point. And take a minute to stop and listen and locate the many hopeful spring arrivals in the Preserve. Arlene and Jeff Koziol are capturing these gorgeous spring photos for us to view. To see more of Arlene's work, please visit her Flickr site.
On his frequent walks in the Preserve and Bills Woods, David Liebl spotted this Great Blue Heron on March 31. He reports, "While Great Blue Herons typically nest in the tops of wetland trees, this solitary bird was seen roosting above the Cedar knoll at the east end of Bill's Woods." Thank you, David, for sharing.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors