I walk the woods behind Bergman Park at least once a week. It is amazing to see how much changes in a day or two at this time of year. It will be a while before leaves appear on the trees. But on the forest floor, things are happening.
If you take a step off the trail in this damp, rich woods, you are hard-pressed not to step on leeks. Someone has been timbering in here and there are places where I have to leave what used to be the trail and climb over branches to get to where the trail picks up again. Today when I did that, a fresh oniony smell drifted up to my nose. It’s too early to dig them up for soup, though.
Usually, I hear the pileated woodpeckers that live here, but I rarely see them. Today, they were silent, but the put on a little flying demonstration for me. Lolli and I were down by the creek and they were investigating the lower trunks of the trees up on the ridge above us. I nearly caught a shot of one of them, but Lolli chased him off. Just as well. I still don’t have a long enough lens to have done the photo justice, and I would have been disappointed.
To round out the woodpecker experience, a downy found its way to the upper branches of the same tree, and a red-bellied reminded me of it presence with a song. I also heard crows, chickadees, kinglets, and (my favorite) a barred owl. It reminded me of a walk at Rheinstrom Hill Audubon Center when the barred owls were calling at noon!
I learned a new flower yesterday: Pennsylvania Bittercress. It’s growing in a couple of patches near the Nature Center building. Finally saw Colt’s Foot today, too, and some Narcissus. Spring is here! Let the march of wildflowers begin!