Arb Sightings 3/5/10

Posted on March 5th, 2010 by

As the snow melts as a result of this week’s above-freezing temperatures, we are once again privileged with the joy of walking through puddles and getting our shoes wetter than we would prefer. But puddles are as sure a sign of spring as rain showers; and indeed, the forecast for the next week predicts chances of rain on several days. With temperatures steadily in the high 30’s and low 40’s, this added precipitation could significantly add to the snowmelt running into the Minnesota River, and thus flooding seems like a good possibility depending on how much rain we get.

Mother Nature is beginning to seem a bit more “springy” as of late. More and more tree buds have begun to swell, most noticeable on the magnolias planted across campus and in front of the Interpretive Center. Cardinals and chickadees are in full spring chorus, the males advertising their robustness to any females that might be listening. American Crows are perching on high points across campus (including the clock tower of Old Main), giving forth rather unmusical “caws” that somehow appeal to the opposite sex. Bald Eagles are pairing off and displaying their spectacular aerial maneuvers high above campus. Even squirrels have notably decreased their presence near the Interpretive Center, which means they’re busily out and about preparing for this year’s first brood.

Here are some other highlights from this week in the Arb:

– Heavy hoar frost on the morning of 3/4 (possibly this winter’s last?)

– Cedar Waxwings feeding on (probably fermented) crabapples in front of Interpretive Center 3/4

Cedar Waxwing feeding on crabapples in front of Interpretive Center, 3/4/10.

– Short-tailed Shrew tunneling and foraging through fallen seeds now exposed by melting snow below feeders behind Interpretive Center 3/4-5

– White-tailed Deer footprint found on edge of Interpretive Center parking lot 3/1 (suggesting a passage the night before)


One Comment

  1. Joan says:

    Love this blog – reading about the details of nature that you have taken the time to observe is a refreshing break from all the busy office stuff!