Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring and more Spring

This morning's East wind brought a noticeable chill with it. The neighborhood awakening was a more subdued affair than yesterday's raucous reveille. There was a noisy and persistent chickadee or two singing, an occasional crow and blue jay calling but, once again, no gobbling. I had already yielded the field. My hunting partner hung in there for another 15 minutes or so. He reported that, after I left, some coyotes started sounding off. I'm not sure if the generally diminished activity can be attributed to the possibility of thunderstorms or severe weather today or tomorrow, or simply to the normal ups and downs of animal activity. Speaking of ups, here's some Spring flowers that have come up in front of the house within the the past week.

early Spring flowers
early Spring flowers                      © harrington

In addition to the possibility of severe weather and the arrival of Spring flowers, a couple of days ago we came across another sign of Spring, an active hognose snake. Since pocket gophers are adding fresh mounds all around the property, I would have preferred to come across a couple of bull snakes but "beggars can't be choosers" my grandmother used to tell me.

eastern hognose snake
hognose snake                         © harrington

If any of you reading this can help identify whether the plant pictured below is a moss or a lichen, I could use the help. It's interesting looking, whatever it is. Meanwhile, let's hope Thomas Carew is right about no more snow or frost this Spring.

to be identified moss or liche
to be identified moss or lichen   © harrington

The Spring

By Thomas Carew 

Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long'd-for May.
Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;
Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power
To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
Her heart congeal'd, and makes her pity cold.
The ox, which lately did for shelter fly
Into the stall, doth now securely lie
In open fields; and love no more is made
By the fireside, but in the cooler shade
Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep
Under a sycamore, and all things keep
Time with the season; only she doth carry
June in her eyes, in her heart January. 

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