My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Maine's Slow Spring

Finding the appearance of anything to do with spring takes a lot of looking up here in Maine. But finally enough of it is creeping in that I think we can declare that Spring has, if not sprung, at least is making its presence known.

I've have to mostly look macroscopically for the signs of spring, but now the landscape is all starting to look like they are under spring's influence and the trees are getting that misty look as tiny leaves branch out.

I noticed these sprouting ferns while hiking to vernal pools to do the amphibian study

I think leaves are most magical at the moment they are just starting to unfurl

We have several species of bees out - haven't captured any with my camera yet
- but this is a sylfid fly - notice the fly-like angle of the wings. 

More new leaves

A closeup of blooming  pussy willow

Other than forsythia, I'm seeing very few flowers when I travel to Calais. But I passed a cemetery while checking the water gauges,  and was induced to take a few minutes off work to enjoy the flowers there. 

A phlox that was growing wild all over the cemetery - a great plant for pollinators

Jonquil trio

A tiny wildflower

More and more of our breeding birds are arriving. Tuesday I was out checking water levels on all our water structures and found a couple of solitary sandpipers and one spotted sandpiper. I associate the spotted sandpiper with paddling because I think I've seen it in every state in which I've paddled. In winter, in Texas we usually see several of them along the shore of any stream we paddle, either teetering along or doing their weak, low flight ahead of us over the water. And blackbird song is now pretty much everywhere. But we only seem to have a few of them around each body of water. 

Solitary Sandpiper

Spotted sandpiper all dressed up for a date

 And we have a breeding killdeer.  Apparently they haven't been found breeding here for several years. We found it on Monday, and today I made sure to mark the nest so we don't drive on it - it's in the middle of a tiny dirt road that only the staff can use.

Kildeer nest

In the last few days, I've started seeing both lots of bees, and a few butterflies. I took this picture today, Tuesday. It's probably a cabbage butterfly, but I've not seen this species before. Anyone know it? With so limited a time on the Internet, I'm not able to do a lot of work on figuring out my unknown species.

Cabbage butterfly on dandelion bloom

 I found a couple of little trees in bloom today as well. Don't know it either.

Some tree bloom

I was surprised to find that some of the water plants are already sending up leaves.  And today, I was amazed to find the bloom of a pond lily before any of its leaves had appeared.  I'm very familiar with them in Louisiana and east Texas, but always see them together with their very large leaves.

A red-leaved water plant 

The precocious pond lily

In Texas and Louisiana I always felt I had to rush to get to really "see" spring happening. It's kind of nice to see it come in so slowly up here.  These pictures were taken over the last three weeks.  

Sorry for the late post.  I've been so busy I've haven't had time to drive to town, much less work on the blog. I'm trying to get another bunkhouse totally cleaned, as well as my trailer- hoping to move in this weekend - and I'm working on putting in a little garden.  I'm also supposed to check out three trails and put waypoints where there are major impediments  - downed trees  - and also to cut out the over growth and small stuff growing in trails. And I am still doing the woodcock surveys most nights, but think that is almost finished.  And I try to watch the eagle nest several times a week for about two hours at a time. Life if good. 

If any of you know any of these plants I don't know, please comment.