Sunrise on the Maumee

Sunrise on the Maumee

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


     We have been anxiously awaiting Spring - real Spring, with warm temperatures; something above 50 degrees would be nice.

So far, we have had to settle for more signs. 

     I don't remember when the 20 feet long trunk stranded itself on our bank this winter, but this Great Blue Heron, in his breeding plumage, found it enticing this morning.

     Meanwhile, up by the house, the first Snow Iris bloomed, undeterred by the recent accumulation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring for Some

     It may be the spring equinox, but it sure doesn't feel like spring.  The air is frosty and the wind biting.  I still have to wear my warmest winter outdoor clothing. So, it is hard to imagine the river has been warm enough for the Walleye run.  

     Evidently it has.  There were at least 10 men actually in the river late this afternoon and several more along the banks at Sidecut Park.  I'm as big a Walleye fan as any, but I think I'll keep my eye out for it on the local menus and stay safe and warm on shore.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Desert Honey

     We were in Phoenix earlier in the month for some much needed sun.  My friend Kim was kind enough to clear her schedule and take me on a hike in the Usery Mountains.  It was a beautiful day.  The poppies and lupine were blooming.  I was happy to be burning off a few calories from the delicious food we had been eating.

When we reached the top - a place called Windy Cave - there were bees everywhere.  I have seen plenty of porous rock in that part of the world, but I had never seen bee hives in the rock.  The honeycombs were visible from several of the openings.

     I mentioned the bees to other friends later in the week and they mentioned that a majority of bees in the area were being hybridized by killer bees.  The bees in Windy Cave were not bothering anyone, thankfully.  Maybe they were too busy gathering pollen from the poppies and lupine.  I'll suggest another trail next year.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Frog Song

     Two days ago Ruta and I were out traipsing around Oak Openings - scouting out a new vernal pool to be monitored this season.  The ice had melted and we saw a very few Birdsfoot Violet leaves poking up, but I was eager for more signs of spring.  So we headed to a nearby stream where I knew Skunk Cabbage would be blooming.  

Skunk Cabbage is in the same family with Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Calla Lilies.  The flowers in this family are hooded and sprout before the leaves.   

     The hood may be beautiful, but the flowers aren't very impressive.  They have no petals and are compressed together in a yellow ball.  There are slim pickings for insects looking for pollen at this time of year, however. 

 As we continued on the trail toward a wetland we heard the most wondrous sound - Chorus Frogs.  These guys are only about an inch long, but collectively they fill the air with sound - and my heart with joy.