|Early spring wildflowers|
Spring time in Canada is unpredictable as winter seems reluctant to release its grip on the land. April days can be warm and sunny, wet and windy, icy and snowy, all within the space of a week. I never considered spring to have arrived until the leaves on the trees opened during the first week of May. The first six weeks of the season were just too fickle.
I know better now that I recognize its early and sometimes subtle signs.
Longer days, shorter nights.
Bird song in the morning.
Delicate flowers poking up through dead leaves.
Birds with bright, new mating feathers.
|Wood Duck, Male Bluebird, Female Bluebird, Tree Swallows|
I bicycle along a consistent route in the evenings. Starting on neighbourhood streets, I enter a meadow where I check on the Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. The next stop is a pond, partially created by a beaver dam in a creek. In the reeds at the back are two pair of Wood Ducks and the males are absolutely magnificent in their spring plumage. So far this year I have counted 38 bird species on this small loop.
A couple of nights ago I was "sit-spotting" at the pond located in an industrial park right in city limits. A beaver was agitated at my presence and passed back and forth in front of me with frequent tail slaps. I noticed a small and crudely constructed beaver house near the drainage pipe at the roadway. I am certain she had young kits in that house and I was simply too close for comfort.
Here is a two minute video of some wild life at this pond including the beaver mother. Birds have been returning here in the spring long before the roads were paved and industrial lots were constructed. It will be interesting to see what my bird count will be during the month of May.