Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spring Songsters - Saturday, April 20, 2018

The tree swallows arrived on Friday signalling yet another sign of spring - finally and much appreciated.

Less appreciated was the arrival of cowbirds - males are shiny black with a brown head, females are the same size but plain sparrow-like. They are 'parasites' like European cuckoos, they lay their eggs in the nests of others. When the young cowbird hatches, it eventually pushes and shoves the parents' biological offspring out of the nest and takes over completely.

Many perennials survive the winter above the ground and even stay green; others die back below the ground and only start to reemerge when conditions ameliorate like the narcissi in the last photo. Can you identify any of the plants below that survived intact but reduced in size? It still goes down below freezing here during the night so most of them have frost on their leaves this morning but at least they're not covered by inches of snow any longer - at least for now. Clicking on photos enlarges them. The reddish color of some plants indicate to herbivores that they may not taste good.

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