Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Searching for Spring, but Hoping for More Winter January 29, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Plants,Trees — saltthesandbox @ 5:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

On some January days, we really need to search for signs of spring.

This week, we’ve heard House Finches singing, the Cardinals are more aggressive and harder to count, and some male Goldfinches look a bit more yellow. And the buds on neighborhood trees seem to be swelling, like these maple buds from down the street:

These maple buds are getting bigger week by week -- a sign that spring is coming!

These maple buds are getting bigger week by week -- a sign that spring is coming!

But, I’m glad we still have some winter left. Our year lists still lack some winter visitors, like Black Scoter and Long-eared Owl.

And we’re still searching for White-winged Crossbills in our neighborhood. We gained some hope this morning when a birder reported Crossbills in a Westchester yard, a few miles to the southwest. But our hopes were dampened by an IBET discussion about what Crossbills eat. They have a tough time opening cones of Norway and Blue Spruce — and guess which spruce are common in our neighborhood?

By the way, I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Columbus Park today. It wasn’t a sign of spring — just a winter visitor that lingered further north than its kin. But the sapsucker got me thinking about what’s going on inside all those barren trees. The tree sap must moving — otherwise, why would the buds be swelling? And what would the sapsucker sip?


2 Responses to “Searching for Spring, but Hoping for More Winter”

  1. I found your blog via Festival of the Trees 32. I really like your blog’s title (have you read the book “Nature in the Neighborhood”?). Also, I enjoyed reading

    Thank you for linking to the blog – local ecologist.

  2. Thanks, Georgia! I have a copy of “Nature in the Neighborhood,” and I’ve been looking at other uses of this theme, including museum exhibits and programs. I’m planning a post about these resources, although it may be a week or two until I get to it. (I will describe some more neighborhood habitats first.)

    I’ll be following your blog.


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