Pandemic-weary nature-lovers, tired of restrictions on activities, winter in general, and
a cold and windy April, found spring to be especially welcome and inviting this year.
There were many great encounters and observations to be enjoyed and shared.
The COVID-19 pandemic continued. Predominantly mild temperatures, albeit punctuated from time to time with short-lived cold snaps and one late October snowstorm, were welcome as nature-watchers and outdoor-lovers made the most of the season. Birds and other animals, many of them on the move in this migratory period, provided a pleasant distraction.
As predicted, the region experienced an irruption of several boreal species
that were moving about in search of winter food sources.
. . . COVID-19, concerned, cautious, cooped-up, the coming of spring, and:
Creeper, Brown (Alan Rawle) Cowbird, Brown-headed (Ted Purcell) Comma, Eastern (AR)
Caught! (Doug Wipf) Crow, American (Bill Platenik)
Climbing porcupine (AR) Curious garter snake (Anne Greene)
Cat (bobcat) scat Chipmunk, Eastern (BP)
Cloak, Mourning (AG) Canada Goose family 18 April 2020 (AR)
Crow, American (BP) Chewink aka Rufous-sided Towhee (AR) Cardinal, Northern (DW)
Chipmunk, Eastern (AG) Cropping up--Marsh Marigold (AR)
Chickadee, Black-capped (BP) Chipping Sparrow (TP)
Chickadee, Black-capped makes an exit. (DW)
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) Watercolor painting by Barry Van Dusen. Unusual color variant with orange petals.
The scientific data are not at our fingertips, but we can all recall an early December snowfall of 24 inches followed by very little snow for the rest of the winter. Overcast and gloomy gray days with warmer temperatures didn't always result in as much precipitation as we might have liked. Streams, ponds, and waterfalls seemed to be at highest levels in February, and mud season so far hasn't been as dramatic as in some years when oozing ground made hiking low areas impossible. Despite the often "open" season with passable trails and "balmy" temperatures in the thirties, most of this period's FROM THE FIELD contributors enjoyed nature in their backyards and at birdfeeders.