I do believe the official arrival of spring has been a welcome sight, and the pleasant weather days have been appreciated by everyone. I am sure we are all communicating with family and friends by phone, email, Facebook, and social distancing over the last two weeks.
One lone Spring Peeper started the annual chirping event in our backyard pond last Thursday evening. They will continue their all-male nightly review until the end of mating season, when the small nocturnal amphibians head back to their homes in the nearby meadows and woodlands.
Many of the students are familiar with Overfield’s seasonal guests Toadzilla, and her smaller male sidekick; they have been residing in the K-2 building this past winter. The children found the American Toads on the playground last fall; they have lived a somewhat charmed life, with a supply of crickets and mealworms in a cozy glass terrarium, in exchange for periodic, up close and personal student observations. This spring our annual amphibian release with the children has been postponed by the exceptionally long break due to the Coronavirus. The time has arrived for our toads to return to the wild; their friends and relatives are waiting for their return at a nearby pond. I thank them for their service.
The return of migratory birds is exciting. This is a semiannual event involving millions of birds, and is just one of Mother Nature’s amazing miracles. I hope your yards are as busy and filled with song as mine is.
Little piney red squirrels (what I call them) seem to defy gravity while playing and leaping from tree to tree; they make their larger gray squirrel cousins look downright sluggish.
The hum is back in the garden, and the Overfield gardens are coming to life, too. Keep your eyes and ears open. Our honeybees, along with native bees, are out and about undertaking early pollinator work. The honeybee queens should be laying 1000 to 2000 eggs a day, helping build their colony populations back to full 50,000+ capacity. Honeybees that worked all winter caring for the queen and hive have passed. The 2020 worker honeybees have taken over; they now run the show.
The official winter weather rodents have been spotted over the last two weeks bounding around Overfield, and my yard. It is official-winter is over for the groundhogs.
Please take the time during this assigned break in our lives to go outside, find a special spot, take a deep breath, and quietly watch the natural world all around you. It is amazing!
Deb – Overfield Naturalist