May. Spring awakening.
The surrounding trees are in full bloom, and the once-empty branches of silver and sugar maple, as well as boxelder, are now flourishing with leaves. Chickadees swoop from tree to tree, finding the best views of the forest. A woodpecker appears on a snag, mulling its way through the bark to find from tasty treats. The water is much higher, even more than before. The river is sprinting to reach the lake, overtaking the muddy banks. The recent rain has been washing the sandy loam away from the sun-bleached logs while the strong roots of lakeshore grasses hold firm to their foundations.
While the ecological components of my spot here on the Winooski have been active year-long, its the humans that have decided to come and finally make an appearance. The bike path is thriving as older folks stroll to view the looming mountains and the younger crowd flies by on their bikes, eager to reach the causeway. Early season paddlers prove that Burlington and Winooski are intertwine here at the river, a hub for recreation, beauty, and love of mother nature.
I feel at home here. I wouldn’t have said that in the fall when I chose this phenology spot. I have witnessed the changes, the trees losing their leaves, and gaining them back. I have seen the river, at its highs and lows. And I have seen the people, smiling when they stop to watch the mallards float below, or when they look up and see migrating birds heading south. I know this place better than anyone else- a special connection with the land that is so trekked, so traversed.
May. Spring awakening and closing comments.