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Blog Nature

Spring is happening

Tree leaves are popping out, flowers blooming, birds nesting, dragonflies emerging, butterflies flying, it’s all happening so quickly you might miss it if you don’t get out there and have a look around.

Here’s some of the things I witnessed this past week in Explore the Wild and Catch the Wind.

Tulip Poplar leaf sprouting.
Bittercress, and you can eat it.
American toad from above.
Lateral view of American toad.
Young tender leaves of boxelder or ash-leaf maple.
Dawn redwood leaves.
Carolina saddlebags.
Silky dogwood leaves emerging.
Elm leaves sprouting.
Elm seeds ready to drop.
American snout. Note long, modified proboscis.
Golden ragwort.
Great purple hairstreak, worn at tips of wings.

The butterfly above was handed to me by a young person who said they found it in Catch the Wind. It was very much alive. The blue iridescence and black margin usually extends further out on wings.

Ironwood or hornbeam catkins.
Closer look at catkins.
Very young oak leaves.
Serviceberry flowers.
Blue violet.
Grape leaves emerging from buds.
Red buckeye.
Loropetalum (witch-hazel family).

And last but most certainly not the least, the brown-headed nuthatch below was standing watch over the hole in front of it. While observing, and the reason I was drawn to it in the first place, I could hear a pecking sound in the vicinity, like a woodpecker hammering a tree trunk. These small nuthatches are known for pounding out nest holes in soft-wood trees like pine and willow. But this bird wasn’t pecking, it just stood there watching, peeking in the hole, then giving a glance to this side and that. There had to be another bird in the hole making all the noise.

And then, there it was. It popped its head out just as the other bird took off to land on a nearby tree. The watchman soon returned and both birds took flight for, who knows where.

Standing watch at a nest hole in progress.
The source of all the noise inside the hole.
Both birds make haste for, perhaps another nest hole.

Get outside and have a look around.