Happy Spring!

To be fair, we’ve had far worse winters weather wise but this winter has seemed rougher, darker and sadder than most. As a life long environmentalist, artist and educator I can’t help but feel that everything I believe in is being threatened by bullies who worship the dollar far more than the heart, soul and health.

For me, the long winter kept making that more and more apparent. As spring arrives, however, I find myself rolling up my sleeves and getting down to the hard work of really standing up for the things I treasure. I find comfort in the fact that so many women, and men, too, are doing the same. Bulldozers and steam rollers may often get their way but eventually those confrontations with rocks, boulders and waterfalls can wear them down and stop them dead in their tracks. I intend to be one of the latter.

Anyhoo, as my grandmother would say, it is finally spring! As we all know, spring on the Cape is….well, not like spring in other places. We have to take it when we can get it, and where.

First, there’s that wonderful spring light, getting stronger every day. These black locust trees still only the tiniest of buds but the light somehow makes them seem joyous on a bright March afternoon.

Red maple, also called swamp maple, is one of our earliest native bloomers and its buds are already red and ready to go…. Pussy willows can now be found around most our bogs and freshwater wetlands. Willows like soggy ground, one of the reasons you should never plant them near a sewer line or septic tank. Their roots will eagerly seek all water sources and they aren’t picky about what type of water that might be, if you catch my drift. Skunk cabbage is another early wetland plant. I will be writing more about these interesting plants later in the week as they deserve a whole post of their own. These humble looking plants have quite the story and biology! Here’s a little skunk cabbage flower getting ready to bloom…. Hellebores, also called Lenten roses are very early bloomers and can survive snow, ice and other indignities. And of course, everyone’s spring favorites, snow drops and crocus. These are cultivated, not native or wild but they are so cheery I had to include them here.

Ospreys and piping plovers should be arriving within the week so keep your eyes wide open, ears, too!

What are some of your favorite early spring signs?

Science on the Street and Nature’s Ways

Happy weekend! I spent yesterday at the Science on the Street event held by the STEM Network at the Cape Cod Community College. What a fun day! Hundreds of families came through and I have to say it was very satisfying and encouraging to see so many young people, boys and girls alike, really enthused about science.Many organizations were there, each with a project that the kids could really get into physically as well as mentally. At our table for the Cape Cod Maritime Museum we had a buoyancy experiment and then we made our own tiny boats to see if they would float. We added different weights to them and some sank, as might be expected. No fear in these kids, though. They just made a better, stronger boat. My assistant had fun teaching the kids how to make an origami boat, an interesting challenge that involves geometry.

In other news, my Nature’s Ways earned a Top Story spot online on Wicked Local this week. Here’s a link to check it out

http://orleans.wickedlocal.com/entertainmentlife/20170318/natures-ways-resilience

My Weekly Nature Watch column can be accessed here–and there’s a portrait of Arlo as a bonus

http://www.capenews.net/columns/weekly-nature-watch-mother-nature-wild-untamed/article_f549e889-b20c-564d-9fd8-9bc988f585f3.html

This happened to be one of my three column weeks as my Neighborhood Nature column appeared in the Barnstable Patriot. People ask me all the time if I write the same column for all three and the answer is….of course not!

http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/news/20170316/neighborhood-nature-survival-on-wing-in-winter

As I write this the wind is blowing and snow is supposed to stop by for what is hopefully its last visit this season.

Tomorrow? SPRING!!!! Woohooooooo!

 

Read my Weekly Nature Watch Column Online

Nothing like a little snow to keep us on our toes! That’s not what I wrote about last week, though…find the links to one of my columns below the photo…the other has not been posted online quite yet.

From the Enterprise on the upper Cape, Weekly Nature Watch–you may have to sign in but they don’t bombard you with emails or anything….

http://www.capenews.net/columns/weekly-nature-watch-listening-to-nature-s-wake-up-calls/article_298a63c3-958d-5d89-a95a-be1da7daaea0.html 

I will post Nature’s Ways when it is posted online. In the meantime you may wish to read it in print!

Thanks!

 

 

My Nature Columns for this Week

For those that don’t have regular access to my columns, here are the links to this week’s offerings. You might have to sign in but they won’t harass you.

Here’s my Weekly Nature Watch column from the Falmouth Enterprise. It’s also in the Bourne, Mashpee and Sandwich Enterprise.

http://www.capenews.net/columns/weekly-nature-watch-breakfast-on-the-beach/article_b885633c-2610-5480-99fa-7a1d5ad61c1b.html

From the Cape Codder and The Register here is my Nature’s Ways column

http://brewster.wickedlocal.com/entertainmentlife/20170303/natures-ways-spring-in-my-step

Enjoy!