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Nature springs forth

Buffleheads, our smallest duck, arrive on lakes as soon as the ice breaks in the spring. They will stay for a few weeks and then leave for their northern breeding areas.
TRR photos by Scott Rando

April 17, 2013

Officially, spring has been here for a few weeks, and the sun has been getting higher in the sky. The cold weather, however, has been showing resistance in leaving, as it usually does by this time. I have seen snow and ice on the ground in shaded areas in northern Delaware and Sullivan Counties as late as the 8th of April this year.

Sometimes, waiting for nature requires a bit of patience, and it seems that within the last three weeks, our patience has been rewarded with milder weather, along with some signs of emerging life. Spring peepers have started their nighttime chorus accompanied by snoring pickerel frogs near wetlands, and painted turtles are found along lake shores as they sun themselves. Not to be outdone by the amphibians, newly arrived migrant and resident birds fill the air with courtship calls. Some local eagles’ nests have newly hatched eaglets now.

As the sun moves into the Pleiades (the Seven Little Sisters), many people, such as the Lakota people of the Black Hills, celebrate spring with ceremonies. With the Lakota, spring is a time to honor life and the renewal of life. At this time of year, all that has to be done is to step outside in order to witness spring and the renewal of life.