Spring arrives


The temperature now rises above freezing day and night at the bottom of the valleys. The trees begin to bloom, and skunk cabbage sprouts in moist areas. Birds mate and build nests. Migrants arrive and some pass northward. This is but a sampling.

A permanent resident, the Song Sparrow, gathers materials for a nest.

At this time of the year, most of these tiny frenetic birds, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, pass right through on their way north to breed. This one is a female and it lacks the ruby crown. Indeed, even the male only shows the crown occasionally.

Turkeys are now a staple of this area, but their annual mating is now largely past. However, some males are still in display. Here is a spread tail from behind.

And here is the male turkey’s head and neck.

The Townsend’s Solitaire will soon be heading north to breed.

You know it is spring when the Mountain Bluebirds come through. This is a male.

And this is a female Mountain Bluebird.

The Osprey have arrived and are beginning to build nests. They will now be a staple of the Lake through September.

This is the season of flowers and one of the first is the glacier lily.

Usually, the first orchid to bloom is the fairy slipper in May. However, these small beginnings were found late April. This one with fake yellow anthers is an eastern variety. 

And the one with fake white anthers is a western variety. We get both.

The mourning cloak is one of the first large butterflies to appear in the spring as it is one of the few that overwinters as an adult.

Robins have arrived in large numbers and will be with us through October.

A chipmunk hides in the brush and eats.

Turkey Vultures typically arrive from the south in March and are with us until October.

The Snow Goose is seen in large numbers at the Coast, but not here. We are far off the bird’s usual migratory track. Only occasionally,  one or two pass through on migration.

You know that spring is here when the Red-winged Blackbird arrives. This one is flying through some cattails.

I have seen a good many waterfowl pairing up, but these Canada Geese are the first chicks I have seen.


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4 Responses to Spring arrives

  1. Allan Hobden says:

    Great `sampling!…gee..fairy slippers late April!…?? We have two near hike trails where we can find them – if we look..and now will do..
    Allan / Woodbury Village

  2. Grace Devaux says:

    Thanks Alistair! I imagine it’s a select few of the thousands you took. Beautiful. I loved that first one, then as I scrolled I decided they were all fabulous.

  3. Sarah Walker says:

    In the photos of the Fairy slippers I see the upper one show 2 “teeth” pointing down, what are those?
    And, the fake anthers – learned something new!
    Thanks as always, Sarah

  4. Trevor Goward says:

    Thanks Alistair
    This is SUCH an uplift!
    Take good care

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