A cold front moved our unseasonably hot weather out of Maine. Friday was a pleasant 70°F with a dry air and a strong breeze. This wind enwraps and enraptures us, as if the spirit of spring is inviting us to laugh and dance with the trees. Click on the image for a larger view.
Our forest has transformed. The top image was taken on May 12th. The middle image was taken on May 15th. On that day, the temperatures reached 70°F. Today was even warmer. That is the last picture. The blue sky is being hidden behind a canopy of green. Click on the image for a larger view.
Red trillium, or wake robin, is appearing on the forest floor. It is one of the first flowers of the season, taking advantage of the light before the foliage returns. Trillium is a striking plant, but its scent of rotting meat is for a slightly different audience. Click on the image for a larger view.
This spring has been wet and gray. The foliage is just starting to appear on our trees. However, our wild plum has come into blossom. This is our messenger of spring. One corner of our land glows with these brilliant white flowers. As the blossoms mature, they turn a deep pink. Click on the image for a larger view.
May is here. We are starting to see this years foliage. The early green is so vibrant compared to the darker greens of summer. These particular trees are in Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area in Phippsburg, Maine. Click on the image for a larger view.
Our forest in winter feels open. Unlike the other seasons, nothing is hidden. It is like walking into a large empty warehouse where the entire space seems to reveal itself, leaving little to explore. Click on the image for a larger view.
It was a dark, snowy weekend. We had our usual visitors to our bird feeder: chickadees, junco, mourning doves, titmice, cardinals, and goldfinches. We usually do not have blue jays at our feeders, even though they are a common bird in Maine. These intelligent birds—they are a member of the crow family—have striking plumage in any season. If they were not so common, they would attract bird watchers from around the world. Click on the image for a larger view.
Just as the sun sets in December, huge numbers of crows come together to roost. I really do not notice these mass gatherings in other months of the year. These groups are not only large, but also noisy. Click on the image for a larger view.
Naomi and I went to Bailey Island this weekend to enjoy one of the few sunny days we have in the last month. The winter sun hangs low in the sky, setting just past four in the afternoon—this was taken at 3 pm. Click on the image for a larger view.
We had about three inches of snow today. This is the first storm of any significance this season. I went out to walk through our forest and field to enjoy the event. The light is gray like sharpened steel. Snow muffles sound, making the forest silent except for the laughter of the neighborhood children playing outside. Click on the image for a larger view.
We woke this morning to the first snow of winter. Nothing bad, just a thin layer of crusty ice. The weather has been so mild and warm this year that the snow was a not so gentle reminder the season is changing. One of our blackberry briers is in the foreground. It looked very different in August. Click on the image for a larger view.
The forest transitions at its own pace. Microclimates create individual schedules for areas throughout our forest. The beech and oak are the last to lose their leaves, although the beach will not drop their foliage until they are ready to renew it in the spring. Click on the image for a larger view.