Spring hike 4/6
Monday, April 6, 2015
cortneyandjon in bird watching, hiking, wildlife

Thanks to our island vacation, we did miss out on one week of woods observation. I had intended to get us out the Wednesday after our return, but I think I already mentioned our slow return to normal. Plus, after a few days in the warming Caribbean sun, the thought of hiking in upper 30/low 40 degree weather wasn't appealing. So we missed last week. That means that we don't know exactly when the biggest change we noted in the woods took place, but the moment we stepped out of the car, the change was obvious.

Spring peepers.

The wood was suddenly noisy, alive with the mating calls of frogs. We learned something today, though. There are lots of different frogs sharing those spring waters, and while the Spring Peepers are noisy, it's really the Western Chorus Frog that is the loudest of the loud. My personal favorite was the Wood Frog; he has a funny little low chuckle that made us both laugh.

Frogs galore were not the only unique views we got today. We saw two different pairs of snakes mating. That's a sight I have never seen before. And a whole slew of Mourning Cloaks, the earliest butterflies of the season. Moss and other plants are beginning to green up, and the birds are in an interesting state of transition: we saw several year-round species, of course, but also one winter visitor who must have been on his way out, and one summer denizen just back from warmer climes.

Plus raccoon paw prints.

by Calvin

all those ripples are frogs, and then some

Wood Frog (by Calvin)

Wood Frog

Wood Frogs

frog eggs

Western Chorus Frog

Western Chorus Frog

by Calvin


Brown Creeper

Common Garter Snakes mating

Common Garter Snake

Raccoon print

Article originally appeared on Cortney and Jon Ophoff's Family Site (http://www.theophoffs.com/).
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