Signs, signs, signs — we live in a world full of signs, displaying all kinds of messages. Road signs, directional arrows, notices of construction, warnings, highway markers, etc., are posted to protect us, inform us and ensure that we arrive at our destinations safely. The majority of the time, following the instructions on a sign and obeying what it says is for our own good. But, did you ever come across a sign you wish wasn’t there? This “Keep Out” sign, posted on a fence gate, is an example of a sign that ought not to be! Wouldn’t it be great to explore inside this old barn? How about taking a walk around the stone fence, or having a picnic lunch on the green grass? Too bad they want us to “Keep Out!”
Linking to “Friday’s Fences” at Life According to Jan and Jer.
I couldn’t help myself…had to go out in the backyard this morning to photograph some of the beautiful new May flowers. The daffodils and tulips are all gone, but some new beauties have sprouted up instead.
An azalea bursting forth
Some blooming lilacs
A single violet next to the shed
Pink azaleas facing the morning sun
These azaleas are white with speckles of pink.
Not too spring-like yet
Although it’s officially the start of spring, I’m still feeling a bit sun-deprived. In an effort to speed up the retreat of the winter blues, I’ve been commuting with the sunroof in my car open, despite the air temperature.
After eating dinner yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice the sun shining through the clouds preparing for its descent. Rather than watching through the window or in my backyard, I grabbed my camera and headed out to a park to enjoy the view. Not only was I rewarded with a beautiful sunset, but I also managed to snap a shot of my first owl! Welcome sunshine, welcome spring.
Posted in Weather and Sky
Tagged clouds, Duke Farms, fence, Friday Fences, friday's fences, nature, New Jersey nature, New Jersey outdoors, owl, photo, short-eared owl, skywatch friday, spring, sunset, wildlife in suburbs
A few days ago, I heard the spring peepers starting their chorus, one of my favorite sounds of spring. Every year, as winter winds down, the peeping emanates from a small, wooded lot down the street from our home in central New Jersey. Our neighborhood has a high water table, making that area very swampy, just the right environment for frogs.
Last night, I convinced my husband to go looking for peepers with me. He put on his rubber boots and I, without thinking, stepped out in my white, soon-to-be brown and wet, Avia sneakers. We entered the woods and followed the peeping sound through the fallen debris and pricker bushes to reach the swampy area. As soon as we approached there was complete silence, all the peeping stopped. We positioned ourselves as inconspicuously as possible and waited, and waited, and waited some more. Every once in a while one peeper would start, but the rest of the chorus wouldn’t join in. We continued to wait until the frogs felt comfortable in our presence. Finally, after 30 minutes or so, the peeping restarted en masse. What a sound! When you are close to the peepers it actually hurts your ears. A group of peepers, peeping together, can reach the decibel level of a rock concert. It is amazing that something so tiny can be so incredibly loud.
Every spring we hear the peepers in this swampy area.
Although a chorus of frogs was surrounding us, we only managed to locate one peeper (shown above). What I mistakenly thought was a tiny shoot growing out of a sapling, turned out to be a clinging peeper. His tan-brown color blended right into the branch making him extremely camouflaged. If he hadn’t been loudly looking for a mate I never would have found him. These frogs are fascinating to watch with their balloon-like vocal sacs; it was worth getting scratches and mosquito bites on our arms to see it. Cheers to the spring peeper choir for being one of the first to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.
This rabbit was a recent visitor to our backyard.
A mallard couple stopped by for a quick swim.
The daffodils will soon be ready to bloom.
The crocus has already started blooming.
Signs of spring are bursting forth here in New Jersey. The daffodils are poking through the soil, the crocuses have begun to flower and some of the backyard visitors I haven’t seen all winter are venturing out.
This past week, a brown rabbit has been hanging around our house. He seems too tame for survival in the suburbs. I hope he quickly learns some street-smarts. Fortunately, our backyard offers hiding places for bunnies needing a hurried retreat.
A pair of mallards recently landed in our pond. They enjoyed a quick swim and then returned to their springtime task of scouting out a proper egg-laying site. I wonder if they will ultimately choose an unusual location, like the ducks who nested in a Home Depot garden department. The blackbirds also have nest-building in mind; I spotted one dangling a long piece of dried grass/straw from its beak.
Insects are starting to fly around too. A tiny winged creature was sitting on my mailbox. My husband was surprised to see a butterfly. The ants and the bees will most likely be the next to make their spring entrance.
For some reason, spring can make me feel melancholy. I suppose it’s because change is in the air and sometimes change can be difficult to cope with (or is it the onslaught of allergy symptoms?). The joyous nature of spring, however, is undeniable. It’s a time of new beginnings, fresh starts and second chances. Gardens are prepared. Newborn animals take first steps. Plants that were shriveled and frost-bitten become green and vibrant again. All of what spring represents seems to culminate in the celebration of Easter.
Now that the daffodils and crocuses are appearing, along with the wildlife who’ve been in hiding all winter, I look forward to observing more signs of spring — blooming yellow forsythias, tiny buds on branches, chirping baby birds and more.
Posted in Weather and Sky
Tagged backyard animals, backyard wildlife, feelings about spring, garden, joy of spring, nature, New Jersey suburbs, seasons, signs of spring, spring, wildlife in suburbs