LOCAL VIEW —Wake-robin—(updated)

Wake-robin trilliumerectum040501-939grahamcoz

(Photo credit Jeffrey S. Pippen  Excellent pictures at http://www.jeffpippen.com/plants/trillium.htm )

Not that robins need waking. Usually they are the ones waking me. However usually they stop mobbing about as rather rowdy gangs, and break into couples, around this time, and as they do their winter alarm-chirps give way to their choruses of territorial song. Someone at some point must have gotten poetic and decided that the flowers awoke the songs, if not the birds themselves.

This year spring has been so delayed that the robin’s singing started well before the wake-robin flowers popped up through the brown leaves of the forest floor. Therefore I had to fall back on a second sign of spring, which is the return of the swallows. That seems to be determined by the sun in some places,  and there are tales of swallows coming north and finding no bugs to eat and starving, but I like to think our swallows are smarter than that. As soon as I see them I expect to start being bitten by a third sign of spring, black flies.

In any case, I saw my first open red trillium yesterday, and my first tree swallows, and therefore the plant should be renamed wake-swallow.

Tree swallows are beautiful, and entrance me with their mid-air antics. I just wish they didn’t have such frowning, grumpy faces. I reckon it has something to do with a diet of bugs, bugs, bugs, all the live-long day.

Tree Swallow sitting swallow-tree_350

Credit: http://www.birdsamore.com/byb/swallow-tree.htm

Tree swallow flying Photo credit Laura Meyers  (This gal does an amazing job of catching birds in unusual poses. I recommend her site at http://www.laurameyers.com/ )

Another great picture, with the credit to https://whyevolutionistrue.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/tree-swallow.jpg

Tree swallow flying 2 tree-swallow

I’ll add to this post later, but need to run to work.


 It was a gray, raw morning, with temperatures barely above 40°, and cold northeast winds off the winter-chilled Atlantic.  We’ve been waiting for the stalled low pressure squatting morbidly up by Nova Scotia to move out, but now that it finally looks like budging another storm comes diving south through the still-ice-dotted Great Lakes.

20150428 satsfc

20150430 satsfc

The odd thing was that, despite the rawness, it remained dry. There wasn’t more than the slightest sprinkle during the gloomy day. The diving storm plunged so far to the south it went under us, and headed out to sea.20150501 ad_ec_640x480

I breathed a sigh of relief, as it seemed like a close call. All it would take is some rain to start falling, and temperatures in the 40°s drop to the 30°s, as the rain drags down cold air, and the next thing you know wet snow starts mixing in.

As it was the power of the sun started to be felt, despite the overcast, and temperatures rose up to the 50°s (From 5° up to 13° Celsius). The first peas sprouted in the garden.  And, at long last, the forsythia flowers started unfolding. Usually they blossom around April 15 around here.

It’s hard to be gloomy, even on a gloomy day, when those happy yellows appear.

Forsythia 800px-Forsythia_2009

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