What a Great Swamp!

Symplocarpus foetidusI missed the emergence of Skunk Cabbage this year. Here’s some of the mature, cabbagy leaves as they look now. The time-travelling internet, however, can take us back to a previous year’s sprouting.

It seems as if everything happens at once during spring. At Great Swamp NWR recently, we saw and heard so much it was a true spring wonderland. Spring Beauties on the ground and Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers gathering spider silk for their nests in the trees. We had a brief glimpse of Pileated Woodpecker and lots of sound-effects from same. A Broad-wing Hawk circled overhead. Baeolophus bicolorThe clarion call of Tufted Titmouse was heard repeatedly.Baeolophus bicolorThey are, it develops, cavity nesters. This is a female popping out of her nest — she came out to mate.Nerodia sipedonOne of the Northern Water Snakes. Arisaema triphyllumJack-in-the-Pulpit: do they always bloom pointing away from the sun? Sciurus carolinensisBaby Gray Squirrels. In the leaflitter, there were a couple dozen tiny, swift mammals impossible to photograph; they were shrews or voles.

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