It looks like temperatures are moderating now, but during these last cold days
some upland forest habitats around West Danby have actually seemed pretty
empty. I didn't even bother trying for Worm-eating Warblers until yesterday,
the signs just weren't there. And when I did go it was so cold up there that I
wore gloves and a winter hat! Amelanchier blossoming was completely finished,
and the fruits set. The few hawthorns were in bud. Chestnut oak leaves were
about 1" long.
This morning I went again, and saw that things are indeed advancing: the
toothwort was in full bloom today, Cypripediums are just poking up their
stalkless leaves, and the saxifrages are opening. I saw fringed polygala in
Hawthorns are just blooming now.
The chestnut oak leaves are bigger, about 1-1/2" - 2" long. Still very few
birds on the slope: Black and White Warbler, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager. But I
actually saw a couple of black flies, and things look like they're about to pop!
The jellied egg masses of spotted salamanders have gotten quite green with
algae, and the embryos inside are now 5/8" long.
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