More spring firsts

Tuesday, with its near-record temperature, was a good day for natural events and signs of spring. We observed the following, all firsts for the year:

First snake of the year, a nice-sized prairie kingsnake. This was especially exciting as these fellows are excellent rodent predators, and their emergence will hopefully begin to control our outsized vole population.

First bat, cruising the field in search of the also-emergent mosquitos.

First robin song. Robins have been around for a bit, passing through and investigating, but the onset of true song means they’ve chosen a breeding site and have settled in.

First tick. Enough about that.

Wild onions coming up (these have been up a few days)

Release of cedar pollen. Tuesday morning the pollen release was so strong, our entire valley looked like it was filled with smoke or fog. With every gust of wind, the male trees appeared to be on fire, releasing a swirling plume of dusty pollen into the air. We’d never seen a release this thick and thorough, even Joanna in all her Ozark upbringing.

First leopard frog. These guys have a nice, distinct call, which can be heard on MDC’s website. Just follow this link and scroll down near the bottom for leopard frogs. Also calling right now are spring peepers and western chorus frogs.

Spring is a good time of year to have an outdoor farm career.

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