Wild Notes: The Walk that Confirmed Spring

The sun is blaring and it feels extra warm because we’ve all spent six months being acclimated to winter. I head out behind my neighboring townhouses to explore the woods, binoculars and camera in bag. The safeway bag addition is the one alteration to the non-regular weekly trip.

Spring is here. The plants are greener and more upright than last week. A small brook and waterfall capture my attention for 15 minutes. I play with my camera’s shutter speed to show the water’s slow flow.

Tree fort steps.

As I continue on, the loud pipes of the titmice grow quieter and other birds begin to fill my purview. I note 7 species of birds, including a new one: a song sparrow! Carrying binoculars has proved a necessity. Love these things. The interest in identifying birds and bark easily cascades to everything. I want to know about the newly sprouted plants, the poop, the reason so many trees here seem to be infected and dying. The next logical step is to make an account on iNaturalist, a site to upload and share wild observations with others, local and not.

There’s a perfect mud spot for prints where the swamp turns back into a creek. Last week it was a creature with a tail lugging behind, today it seems to be a coyote or fox and a (confirmed via facebook) raccoon.

I meditated in a lying-on-the-forest-floor-pose. It was more productive than previous outdoor attempts, although I found breathing was more laborious and noticeable while lying down.