Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wishing for Spring

Wishing can make it so. By mid-February, most of us are pretty tired of winter. In Kentucky we haven't had as much snow and cold as other parts of the country, and I'm still tired of winter. A walk at Creasy Mahan Nature Preserve might be just the thing. Walking and wishing through the woods, just might encourage Spring to come along. Ready? Let's go wishing!

The Preserve has been hit hard twice in six months by bad weather, first Hurricane Ike in September, and now the January ice storm. They won't need to buy wood chips for their trails for about five years! Critters that like brush piles as a habitat will be overjoyed.
First, we wish for some nice birds, of course. Well, I found plenty of birds tough enough to take the winter, but they'd appreciate some warmth too. Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers, Gold Finches, House Finches, Tufted Titmice, Blue Jays, Juncos, Song Sparrows, Nuthatches, and some cute Chickadees and Bluebirds all chirped and whistled to encourage me.

Robins were the most numerous birds of the day. At one point, I saw 8 - 10 of them just sitting on the ground, not scratching for food, not singing, not moving a feather, and all facing in different directions. It looked like they'd been playing Frozen Statues, and no one had come to unfreeze them. It's great for photos, but odd behavior. Hundreds of other Robins played a perpetual motion game, darting from tree to tree.

Now that the birds have been called in, what kind of plant life should we bring? Here are some wrinkled berries. The Robins should finish them off pretty soon. Look in the background for rose hips, especially the one with blood from my finger!

The Japanese Honeysuckle won't waste any time waiting for the weather to get warm.

I'm familiar with the fruit of the Sycamore tree. This time of year, the balls just burst apart when they drop to the ground, so the seeds can blow away and grow. Even the giant trees along the streams started as a small seed blowing in the wind.

Lots of small green mystery plants are peeking up through the leaf litter. Curly topped onions are the tallest. The others seem to be more cautious, and lurk in the leaves, waiting to be sure of the warmth and sunshine before putting too much effort in growth.

Last week I found part of a Robin's egg in the park. Today, I found the egg of the rare Golf Bird, which normally is found nesting only around country clubs. Again, I found no evidence of a nest, and we have another Spring mystery. How did this egg fall to the ground and not break? I assume that it will not hatch after sitting on the ground. Do you agree, birders? The Weather Channel talks about more storms coming from the west. It's just like with Tinker Bell - you have to believe to make Spring come!


MB said...

i believe in spring.... clap clap clap clap clap... come on clap with me...

11 days and counting till you can enjoy the birding daily.

behindthebins said...

I do believe, I do, I do, I do. I do believe in spring. The egg from the golf bird, made me laugh. Those birds can be very habitat specific. ;)