Let’s take an Easter break from antelopes. I am in Maine for a few days. The thaw is happening, and the streams are in spate. This is a usually dry woodland area below my red barn; the de-barked tree is beaver work.
My bridge may not be there in the morning:
The Beaked Hazelnut, Corylus cornuta, is flowering, with its golden male catkins and tiny red female flowers:
The Maine State bird, the Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus, is here, a member of the tit family.
A female downy woodpecker was busy:
And I saw my first ever Brown Creeper, Certhia americana, a relative of the UK’s Treecreeper. They are not rare, but they are very shy, and well-camouflaged. It moved much like a nuthatch, but working its way up the tree, instead of head down like a nuthatch. Notice the lovely curved beak.
Finally, I mentioned skunk cabbage a week or two ago, but now in Massachusetts it is in flower. Symplocarpus foetidus is a member of the Arum family. It comes up so early in spring that the heat of its cellular respiration melts the snow or ice around it,
It has a strong odor, especially if bruised, like decaying meat, and this draws insects to pollinate the tiny flowers on the knobby spadix. Later, a roll of large green leaves unfurls.