An uncommonly warm series of March days have brought a sudden rush of spring to Nahant Marsh. Buds are breaking into tender green leaves much earlier than usual. A green mist, tentative and delicate, hangs in the trees. Green has begun its rise in the fields and meadows.
The creatures of the marsh that lay low for the winter are stirring, too. Nahant Marsh is home to Blandings turtles, which can be recognized by their striking yellow throats and domed shells. Classified as threatened in the state of Iowa, these marsh loving turtles have lost much of their habitat. Nahant Marsh is just the type of place they need.
Although the bufflehead appear to have moved on, many geese and ducks are at the marsh. Every year I see goslings, and already pairs of Canada geese are staking claims on marsh territories. Goose talk rings out often here at the marsh, and often a pair comes walking right up the trail from the dock to graze in front of the education center like it belongs to them.
The equinox has passed, so it is truly early spring at the marsh. It is a time of great beauty. It is not about dreary sodden grays and browns, it is about damp earth welling up with green, airy and open. It is beautiful here, with many pools of still water reflecting a world reversed. The returning birds and waking animals can be seen best in this early spring time. There is not yet greenery enough to hide them.
Every year the speed at which the growth of the season springs up is startling. Perhaps it will be even more so this year because the rush of spring has come early. The parade of flowers has already begun. Prepare to be amazed.