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By Yvonne Kunz |

…signs of Spring are everywhere! From the daffodils poking through the snow at the end of my driveway to the store-bought spuds sprouting in the dark under my kitchen counter, Spring is in the air. I was reminded of this as I put out my bird feeders early one morning last week. In the woods out back, I heard the mating song (well, it’s more of a deep buzzy “Beep”) of an American Woodcock. In the Spring they sing from a little after sunset to a little before dawn. With that in mind, I decided to look for other signs of Spring on the Mountain. Here are some of things I’ve noticed:

  • Many of the trees are tinged red around the edges, the result of dormant buds waking up. It often causes an entire stand of trees to blush red.
  • Skunk cabbage blossoms are another early sign of Spring. They are interesting, otherworldly looking flowers and can raise their temperature to melt surrounding snow. Who knew?
  • There are fresh holes drilled into various trees, the result of Woodpeckers prospecting for new nest locations.
  • The neighborhood Red-Shouldered Hawks have been gathering roadside grass and strips of bark to renovate their successful nest from last season.
  • The resident Northern Mockingbird is already patrolling his territory. Soon he will be singing female friendly songs to attract a mate. He has, on average, over 200 songs in his repertoire.
  • And American Robins are starting to switch their food gathering strategy from trees to the ground.

The coming of Spring also affects the pace of our daily morning walks. I spend more time looking for migrating birds and watching the plants come back to life. Even the approach to our one-mile turnaround point becomes slower. It’s at one of the stream crossings and my husband goes first (he’s much taller than me and has great distance vision) to see if any Wood Ducks are hanging around. We have to move slowly so we don’t frighten them away. None yet this season but worth the effort. Male Wood Ducks are stunning this time of year.

The list goes on and will grow longer as March approaches. Don’t let the chilly weather stop you. Just bundle up, go for a walk, and enjoy signs of Spring on the Mountain!

Daffodils poking through the snow. 

Skunk Cabbage blossoms.

Red Headed Woodpecker.

New Woodpecker hole.

Red-Shouldered Hawk.

Red-Shouldered Hawk nest building.

Northern Mocking Bird.

Tree bud in ice.

Wood Duck.