The calendar says that Spring has arrived, yet nature seems to be telling a different story. Even though we have been seeing Red Wing Black Birds for several weeks and my husband spotted the first Robin of the season about a week ago, the temperatures have mostly been below what is normal for this time of year in Michigan. I can’t help but wonder if the birds regret their early return.
Spring is my favorite season of the year so I went looking for the signs of Spring. Come along, I’ll show you what I found.
Even though we have had some very sunny days, some of the snow has yet to melt in areas that are mostly shady.
The last of the ice melted from the pond on Sunday, March 18. It reached 50+ degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) that day but the temperatures have been nowhere near that since.
Today the temperature was around 40 Fahrenheit (about 4 Celsius) when we were at the farm; with the wind out of the North it felt much colder. Trooper didn’t mind stepping in the pond for a cold drink, but while I long to walk barefoot on the sand and dip my toes in the water, today I opted to keep on my wool socks and rubber boots.
A pair of ducks have also been enjoying the pond for the last two days. They may be looking for a place to build a nest and raise their young, but I am afraid that our pond would be much too busy for that. I am fairly certain that Scout and Trooper will make it clear that they are not welcome here. There are, however, plenty of neighboring ponds that will suit them just fine.
The daffodils have poked their heads up but seem to be in no hurry to expose their entire bodies to the cold temps. Who can blame them?
The bees have had several days over the winter when they were able to come out for a cleansing flight. It was during a brief warm spell in February that we discovered that four of our five hives were dead. 80% loss is the biggest winter loss we have experienced to date. The sole survivor was our Warre’ hive.
Even though the sun was out today the bees were not.
The sap flow has been intermittent. It flows (or should I say drips) on the warmer, sunny days, but many of the days have been just too cold for the sap to flow. While we can see the buds on the trees getting bigger they are not yet ready to open.
We will continue collecting sap and making syrup as long as the weather permits.
To me the most encouraging sign of spring was hearing the frogs singing. My husband told me that he heard them for the first time yesterday. We didn’t hear them in the pond area but in this swampy area near the back of our farm.
I remember My Mom telling me that the frogs have to freeze three times before Spring is here to stay. I am not really sure how that works. How long does the temperature have to be below freezing for a frog to “freeze”? Is it just when the temperature falls below freezing over night? or does it take a day or more of freezing temperatures? Has anyone ever heard this before? None-the-less I am always happy to hear the frogs singing, and I take this as a sure sign that spring is near.
Are you anxiously awaiting Spring? What do signs do you look for to know that Spring is near?