Monday, June 2, 2014

Spring Has Finally Arrived

“Spring has sprung.
The grass has ris’.
I wonder where the birdies is.”

Do you remember that little ditty from grade school? Do they even say such nonsense today? I don’t know, but I do know that Spring has finally arrived in the Northwoods. What the heck, it is June 1st. Technically, Summer is only three weeks away.

5/17/14 Notice the buds are just getting red.
Because Jan and I are migratory, we normally experience two complete comings of Spring: one in Savannah and the other in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By the time we leave Savannah, the weather is summer-like. Trees and bushes have leafed out; the first brood of baby birds are chirping to be fed; sand gnats are out in force; the frogs are mostly quiet.

Arriving in the U.P. we find that not only have leaves not appeared, buds are hardly even swollen. Black flies are not yet present. Frogs sing solos or duets, lonely precursors of the chorus to come.

Most mornings I still take the chill off the house with a fire in the woodstove. Unlike late Fall and Winter, one fire is sufficient for the day. In part that is because we get so much daylight this time of year and the glass wall overlooking the lake faces west.

When we first arrive, more than fourteen hours of daylight greets us—that’s almost an hour more than we had in Savannah. At the summer solstice we have fifteen and three-quarter hours of daylight here, an hour and a half more than Savannah experiences. With that extra daylight (and short growing seasons between the cold) plants and animals grow quickly.

This year I thought it would be interesting to photograph the growth of a red maple’s leaves. You can see the results below.


The tree has fully leafed out. At night I now fall asleep to the frog chorus (and the occasional Barred Owl hootfest). I awake to Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at their feeder. Black flies and mosquitoes have made their presence known. It is almost time for the snapping turtles to climb from the lake and dig their shallow nests to lay eggs.

5/31/14 Looking out from my desk

Yep, Spring has finally arrived.

~ Jim

[Originally Published on Writers Who Kill Blog 6/1/14]

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