A few bulbs were blooming in the warmer spots.
Tiny lichen were starting to come to life among the greening moss,
|"British Soldiers" lichen (Cladonia cristatella) are only about half an inch high|
|Crustacean shells left over from a fresh seafood dinner|
And on Friday, the first amphibians made their presence known as the Wood Frogs emerged from their winter slumber to call for mates in the thawed vernal pools. Every year I am fooled (it was April first after all) by their call - I still think there are ducks ahead as I approach. But each year I realize a little more quickly, that no, these are the frogs!
Other sounds of spring were unmistakable, for one the raspy call of the first phoebe of the summer - always the first of the insect-catching birds to return, but also a warning that the bugs are close behind.
Yesterday I saw my first pair of Great Blue Heron, landing awkwardly in the top of a towering white pine on a small island in the lake. And earlier in the week I saw a large flock of Turkey Vultures - at least 20 of them - flying right over downtown Laconia just past Opechee Bay. The next day there were three of them circling over Lake Wicwas.
|A couple of Turkey Vultures circle overhead|
Just when I though the migratory birds had moved past, another flock of ring-necked ducks stopped by, this time a pair as well as two males accompanying a female, hoping to win her favor.
|Male ringed-neck ducks wooing a prospective mate|
|Hmmm, how do I choose....|
There was also a pair of Buffleheads - which I don't see very often - napping on the lake.
|Buffleheads getting some needed rest on their voyage north|
And one more sign of spring, summer even: our first thunderstorm. It was followed by a beautiful calm evening with mist flowing over the lake and then, the summer's first rainbow. April-fools or not, summer is getting closer.
|The summer's first rainbow|