Saturday, April 21, 2007

Blogger Bioblitz Starts Today!

Finally, suddenly, it is warm here. I went for a walk yesterday along the road through the Stoco Fen, and got downright hot. The skunk cabbages are up, leaves just starting (this is a few weeks later than last year: here is my post on them from April 3, 2006).

April 2, 2006--Way ahead of 2007

They're mostly further back from the road than they were last year because the water level is way down. Saw no turtles, but was treated to the din of a chorus of mink frogs--in water just close enough to the road that I could see them dashing about--not close enough that I could identify them by sight. Mink frogs (Rana septentrionalis) aren't all that easily identified by sight, apparently--easily confused with both green and leopard frogs--so perhaps it just as well I could hear them better than see them. I saw a frog too--reddish brown back, grey underneath. I don't yet know what it was. Too large, I think, to be a tree frog. No mask, so I think not a wood frog... No camera, hence the words only. Browsing as I write I came across wood frogs at Burning Silo--no mask! So perhaps that's what it was--according to other accounts the colouration is within their range of possibilities.

Today, another warm one, is the first day of the Blogger Bioblitz. Should be lots more to see than there would have been last Saturday. On the right, an intrepid crocus braving the snow last Saturday morning. That snow, which fell the Thursday and Friday before was gone by the afternoon, then Sunday night the nor'easter blew in and there was snow on the ground once again. Now we are spending a few days in summer, with cooler temperatures forecast for the early part of the week. As I think I've mentioned before--we are constantly surprised by our weather in southern Ontario, year after year, in spite of its constancy of variation.

The rabbits continue to visit the yard. I now think that there are one or more enterprising males taking advantage of the fact that the availability of bird seed through the winter has made this a regular stop for many rabbits. So they hang around ready to dance with whomever comes along. Because I see them so often, I've got a rabbit search image seared into my brain. Walking yesterday evening I was sure I saw one that turned out to be configured from a combination of grasses and a clod of earth. but then I saw the one below--just about the way it looks in the photo, and this time, rabbit indeed.

See the rabbit? Look for the reddish patch at the back of its neck.

Maybe one or two will turn up to be listed for the Bioblitz. I'm heading out this morning--and have decided to include a little patch of the swamp in the cedar bush as well as a piece of the edge of the far field. So we'll see what we see.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Yay! Looking foreward to the Bioblitz! I always learn somethig new when I visit here.

Linda said...

The bioblitz sounds interesting ... I'll have to pop over and see what it is all about.
Lots happening in the garden here too. We also have a rabbit that frequents the garden.

burning silo said...

I'm sure glad that the temperature warmed up last week or it would have made things kind of tough for the bioblitz! Good luck with it. I hope you find lots of interesting flora and fauna!