Spring has yet to sprung

Spring had not yet sprung when I visited my phenology spot this weekend.  I was disappointed not to have found any amphibians, I had hoped to see signs of salamanders or perhaps a soft- shelled turtle, yet I think the unseasonably cold weather deterred their movements.  I listened for American toads and peepers, but their songs were silent.  I saw a few waterfowl, including a few Canadian geese and seagulls.  Those were the only animals out and about on     this dreary windy day.

I did bring my family, who was visiting from Pennsylvania, to the salmon hole today.  My Grandmother was thrilled to see the destruction caused by the beaver I have been flirting with throughout the project.  It was helpful to have four more sets of eyes looking for splashes of green amongst the brown debris on the forest floor.

However, there was not too much green anywhere around the Salmon hole.  None of the trees had yet begun to flower and I didn’t see a single wildflower bloom.  I did however notice that some of the mosses had released sporophytes to release spores.  And I noticed a few ferns, yet they were not fiddle heads and my dad figured they were to mature to have surfaced recently and had simply survived the winter.

It was evident however, that the April showers slated to bring may flowers had begun.  The river was swollen and moving rapidly.  There was a current swirling near the shore carrying debris, mainly sticks but a few Styrofoam pieces and plastic bottles that had likely been swept of the streets of Winooski in a recent storm.  My Pop Pop enjoyed watching the path of a big round log being carried by the water.

You can see how far the water has moved up the bank and how fast the water is moving

The edge is extremely close to my spot, the road is only about 50 yards from the river.  However, the roads do not separate this spot from another habitat but simply allow for a small swath of natural land amidst human development as the other side of the road is housing.  There is not enough forested land here to support interior species, especially with the walking path further dividing the forest.