Even though the wind still holds the winter chill, the sun is shining brightly today. I am ecstatic to see the first signs of spring. Don’t get me wrong I am positive old man winter is not done with us. But, the early signs of spring always provides an extra mood lift.
The Sandhill Cranes have been voicing their return. Their deep throating rattle is music to my ears as they fly high above me.
The Canadian geese are very vocal down on the river flats. The snow is slowly melting away.
I see Robins searching for food in my yard. The Red-Winged Blackbirds are singing loudly. The slight warm-up brings good cheer to all creatures, not just humans.
if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of a whippoorwill
or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night?”
Chief Seattle, 1854
Today, April 30, 2016, is Save the Frogs day. I love listening to the frogs. When I hear the sounds of frogs croaking loudly, I know warmer weather is being ushered in. I look forward to their beautiful sounds after each long winter. The different croaking sounds create a song over the nearby fields, ponds, and river flats that surround my house.
Frogs serve as an important role in our fragile ecosystem. In tadpole form, the growing frogs keep water areas clean from over growing algae. As the little frogs grow into adulthood, they begin eating insects as part of their diet. The consumption of insects is important in keeping the potential spread of diseases down.
For example, mosquitos have been known to transmit diseases to humans. Frogs help in keeping the mosquito population down. Without frogs, mosquitos and other insects would be out of control. An increasing population of insects would create serious pest control problems for humans.
Frogs are also known as an indicator species. When the frogs’ living environment becomes polluted, the results will be easy to view in the frogs’ offspring. The new frogs will be born with abnormalities which provide a warning to humans living in the same area. Protecting the frogs’ natural environment will, in turn, protect humans.
Honestly, I cannot imagine the world without frogs that let me know the Earth is awakening after a winter slumber.
I was happy to see that the swans are back. The return of the Trumpeter Swans reminds me that spring is truly here. I love listening to the swans (well, I enjoy listening to most wildlife). But the chatter between the two swans have while swimming is fascinating. The calls back and forth to each other is almost a low nasally honking. The pair of Trumpeter Swans, the largest waterfowl in North America never stay in the area. I am assuming, the river flats are just a stop until they reach their final destination. But I do love viewing them every year.
The river flats surrounding the Maple River are high right now due to the rain. The rain is normal for this time of year here in mid-Michigan. I was disappointed to see my favorite hiking trail on the back property flooded over this afternoon. But I am sure the little wood ducks are very happy with the extra water.
Another Spring day here in Michigan. I say this with a tone of sarcasm. Even though the weather is really typical for Michigan. I woke up this morning to snow. Not much just enough to let me know the air would be cold and damp all day. In fact the snow has actually disappeared already. According to the weather report, there is a promise of warmer weather coming in.
So, I took my own advice from yesterday’s blog and went for a walk. The walk was a bit “crispy” but I enjoyed seeing all the wildlife. I was able to view a magnificent Sand Hill Crane fly over the back property. She (no I don’t know if the crane was a female for certain, I don’t have that knowledge) was spectacular to watch. Her enormous wind span is such a sight. I could watch cranes all day especially when they use that low throttling call. I find their “song” beautiful.
The Canadian Geese were making their voice heard down on the river flats as I approached. I accidentally startled a small pair of wood ducks. When I returned to my house, I noticed a small herd of Whitetail Deer (around 12) were making their way across the field. I am happy to see the wildlife returning to the area. As more and more wildlife becomes visible or heard, I know the warmer weather is fast approaching.