Once Again Spring

HoodedMerganserPair2016aprOnce again spring comes to Nahant Marsh. Winter is only a fading memory as the rush of green rises. The creatures of this remarkable place return and proceed with their springtime rituals—at once as ageless as time uncountable,  yet as new as this very day. The spring migration carries on as it does each year, winter forgotten as the sun lasts longer, warming the world.

Beaver2016aprThe beavers of Nahant Marsh did not use all of their large stash of winter food after all. Now, with their ponds free of the ice, they are nibbling at freshly growing trees with their tender new bark, instead of relying on the waterlogged pile of branches set aside at the beginning of winter. It seems, and was, so long ago.

GarterSnake2016aprThe welcome warmth has drawn forth all of the marsh’s creatures. Even the cold blooded ones have resurfaced to go about their business as though the harsh time of cold never was. The frogs are calling, the turtles are out and about, and  snakes in their elegant coats of sequin-like scales, are on the hunt. So begins another season of warmth.

SpringBurn2016aprSections of meadow, thick with tall, winter browned vegetation, have been burned by Nahant Marsh staff. These blackened areas will green up even faster that the non burned areas. Native plants have evolved to tolerate burns. Their strength lies below the surface—now cleared with the sun warming the black ground. They will spring up renewed. Alien, invasive species do not survive a burn as well as the natives do.

The prairies will be full of flowers in almost no time at all. Already the wetland is full of birds. Many have passed on by on their way to their northern homes. Many others have arrived to stay for the season. Some are already incubating this years clutch of babies. Come spend some time outdoors if you can, let the sun warm you and listen to the spring songs of the birds. Before you know it is will be past. This is because time does fly, with or without you.


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