Friday, March 30, 2007

March's End

For sylvan snoopers such as my self, March leaves much to be desired. It's a bleak world filled with little more than last second weather changes, dead plants, and the remainance of winter's fury laying strewn and pressed tight to the ground until April adds life to the scenery. That said, the wildlife of Penn's Woods is well on its way to recovery as we kiss goodbye the final days in March.

Today I worked six in the morning until eleven. Construction is taking place at the store, so things have been pretty interesting. After clocking out I drove to Reservoir Pond.

Unfortunately, the trout have not been stocked yet this year - as they were by this time in last year's archives. But, upon my arrival I noticed a pair of bufflehead ducks who have appearantly used the small lake as a rest stop during their spring migration. With their bulky black and white heads and tiny bodies, the buffleheads are more at home on large lakes, reservoirs, and bays. They are a member of the diving duck family, with legs put far back on the body - making them extremely clumsy on the ground. This attribute also makes springing up out of the water difficult. Most divers must get a running start before launching into the air.

Also, some more domestic ducks have been added to the group that I have been watching for a couple years now. King Quckers, Snowball, and Miss Mocha are still quite healthy - although I had to chace them off the road on one occassion! In addition to these ducks, another group (who stay away from the previously mentioned)have been released to Reservoir Pond. No names yet, as at least one of the ducks has already been found dead. Another is missing in action; likely succumbing to one of the local foxes.

I left the park for awhile, came home and meandered a bit before I decided to go for another hike in the fields and forest surrounding my grandparents home.

I noticed a lot of wild turkey sign today, including scratchings on the ground, droppings, and footprints. Their courtship and breeding season is in full swing now and I will probably hear the staccato gobble of a horned-up gobbler in no time.

No morel mushrooms yet. The season is approaching though, and I'm keeping my eyes peeled. These little honeycombs on a stick are number one of my "Things I Need to Experience" in 2007. Ha!

I shuffled through the fields hoping to jump the american woodcock or "timberdoodle" that I had spooked twice before - but I had no such pleasure. Wherever it was hiding, it held tight, probably with the understanding that I couldn't see it. I did notice a large amount of songbirds today. I even saved a downy woodpecker from my grandparents garage yesterday. He was confused, flustered, and all to eager to bite my helpful fingers as I pried him from the window pane and released him back into the wild.