Spring is budding out all over….

Oh how I love this time of year! The late afternoon sun is so pretty on the tops of trees just budding and leafing out…

008the colors are so fresh and clean

015flowers are just starting to bloom and grow

014looking like Asian watercolors against the sky

012even the old oaks are showing off this afternoon

016but the cherries are about to burst forth and take the stage

018let the spring rumpus begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring on spring!

I’ve decided to just say, “To heck with winter….bring on spring…..”

so I went out and found some sweet flowers like these Lenten roses…

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I found some nice red buds on a swamp maple, also called red maple….

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I watched a swan for awhile…

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i watched the full moon tide flood the marsh…

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until it came almost all the way to the edge where I stood…

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I found an old red winged blackbird nest in the reeds…

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I celebrated the male goldfinches who are getting back their yellow plumages…

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and howled at the moon…

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Never mind that I had on my heavy winter coat, my hat and my gloves….

For me, winter is over…..welcome spring!

Where’s the bear?

If you’re on the Cape or anywhere near, you know we have a very famous visitor here–a young black bear! Everyone’s talking about it and the jokes and stories are multiplying faster than mosquitoes around here. This guy is on the move and was noted in Brewster early yesterday morning. Well, it just so happened that my daughter, grandson and I were also headed to Brewster yesterday morning and yes, we were pretty excited about maybe seeing the bear along the way.

We were headed to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and when we got there we found we were far from alone. A news helicopter was overhead, people with cameras and binoculars were everywhere and down the road were police cars and other official cars from various agencies charged with checking out the bear and keeping people safe.

Behind this scene were several dozen people scanning the marshes and nearby woods. This was taken at the corner of Paine’s Creek Rd. and Rt. 6A. Everyone was in a happy, anticipatory mood and I couldn’t help but feel that this little bear has made a lot of people happy. For all the chatter about how disconnected from nature we all are this moment proved that really, people want to be connected to nature. They are even a bit excited about it. Now, will these same people be excited 10 years from now if bears actually begin to repopulate the Cape? That’s another story. I remember when people were excited that coyotes were here back in the beginning. These days very few people are excited about coyotes and in fact many actually hate them.

In the end none of us saw the bear….

But over the past week we’ve seen lots of other things like this lobster shedding its shell in an aquarium at the museum…

or these lovely Jack-in-the-pulpit flowers in East Sandwich

or beautiful scenes like this one at Sandy Neck

One day this past week I even was witness to a wild swarming of winged carpenter ants that came and went in a matter of hours.

So……no bear photos but a great week to be outside nonetheless!

It’s Mayflower Time Again….

Although technically I spotted my first mayflowers in March today I saw them blooming everywhere. Mayflowers are the state flower of Massachusetts and they are a quiet little blossom that many people probably walk right by.

Usually you find them in patches along the sunny side of a trail. They like rather poor growing conditions and are often half buried by winter’s twigs and leaves…in the picture below the mayflowers are in the middle of the frame..

They don’t look like much, do they? But get down close to them and they are lovely and elegant and they smell wonderful…

Their leaves are often tattered and brown looking but you can often find new leaves forming, too. The leaves are tough and sort of hairy feeling. The blossoms are somewhat waxy and able to survive the changing weather that often marks our springs.

Also called trailing arbutus, mayflowers almost always bloom in April, which somehow amuses me. Maybe they bloom in May in other places but usually by May the blossoms here are gone.

You can find mayflowers in many of the Cape woodlands, especially those that have ponds –which is most of our woodlands.

While looking for mayflowers take note of the little Canada mayflower leaves that are beginning to poke up through the pine needles. Also, watch for the red unfurling leaves of sarsparilla, one of my favorite and most whimsical spring woodland flowers.

This is such a great time of year to get out and about–migrating birds are arriving almost daily, toads are trilling and everywhere you look new life seems to be opening up.

Do keep watch for ticks if you hit a woodland trail–they are everywhere already.

Signs of Spring are everywhere….

It’s no secret that it’s been an early spring but as I was out and about this week I took some pictures to share…

Skunk cabbage is easy to find around most wetlands and it is way ahead of itself this year…and it has the funkiest flowers.

And the red maples are starting to bloom, always one of my favorites…

Here’s a closeup of the lovely, delicate flowers…

and of course there are plenty of these still in bloom…click on the link to see a very short video…

Daffodil Hill

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