Friday, March 5, 2010

More Signs of Spring

After a day of some squirrelly winter weather yesterday when it tried to snow, spring pushed back today. The first sign of this was the report on New Hampshire Public Radio that bears have emerged from their winter dens and are wandering about looking for food. They are hungry, having not eaten in several months. I'd be starving.

In spring, bears like fresh greens and other plant material -- leaves and buds, roots, tubers and bulbs, some fruits and nuts, and bird seed. They've emerged a bit earlier than usual. "Take down your bird feeder day" is typically April 1st. "Last year, 681 bear complaints were documented in New Hampshire. More than half of these complaints were related to bears causing property damage; most of these incidents were caused by the presence of bird seed or garbage at the residence and could have been avoided if these attractants were removed,” according to NH Fish and Game Department bear biologist Andy Timmins.

Around mid-day I walked through a thicket of brush on one of my project properties. It was warm and sunny, with a slight wind -- a nice spring day. As I was getting out of the car to attend a meeting I noticed two small deer ticks crawling up my pant leg. A sure sign of spring.

Back home by late afternoon, I noticed the tulips just peeking out from the bare soil only recently freed from the snow pack around our house. Then I glanced at the chives, their bright green shoots emerging from the dead stalks of last year.

 
Tips of tulips poke through the warming soil

The green shoots of chives break through last year's chaff

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