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Nature Almanac

Hidden Pond Nature Center

[ 8511 Greeley Blvd. ] [ Springfield, VA 22152 ] [ 703-451-9588 ]

Frog Eggs

Almanac for March 2015

Natural events, happenings, and fearless predictions based on 30 years of observations at Hidden Pond. Your observations may vary! Hidden Pond is not responsible for errors, erratic behavior or other whims of nature.

  • 1st week: Full moon March 5. We now gain over two minutes of sunlight each day. This increase in the photoperiod brings changes that we can see, smell, or feel almost every time we step outdoors. In spite of the long cold winter, wood frog eggs may be found in woodland puddles; they must hatch and develop quickly before the puddles dry up this summer. Fox kits are born now, the vixen may carry them to a new den if they are discovered. Male woodcocks perform elaborate aerial displays just after sunset. Squirrels greedily feed on swollen tree buds and flowers. Now is a good time to prepare bird nesting boxes.
  • 2nd week: Periwinkle, which was often planted in cemeteries long ago because it kept out other weeds is now in bloom. Male and female cardinals sing loudly to each other, “what cheer, what cheer!” Red maple flowers consisting of clusters of two tiny red flowers on slender red stems give wooded hillsides a faint burgundy hue. Warm weather will bring out mourning cloak butterflies that have spent the winter hidden under loose bark, in woodpiles, and other protected places.
  • 3rd week: First day of spring is March 20; the sun is now up more than 12 hours each day. Spring beauties bloom. These and other spring ephemerals appear in the same places year after year like old friends, making it easy to learn them. Phoebes and purple martins return, looking for suitable real estate. Lawn grass begins to grow-time to start mowing, or consider an alternative groundcover. Spring peepers, pickerel frogs, American toads, chorus frogs, and leopard frogs may all be heard this week calling for mates. Red-shouldered hawks incubate eggs..
  • 4th week: Young American beech trees have kept their old brown leaves all winter and they shed them now; a folklore sign that there will be no more frost. Willow trees are among the first to show green leaves. Trout lilies bloom. Tiny tent caterpillars hatch exactly coincidental with the emergence of the tender green leaves of the wild cherry trees that they feed upon. As the leaves get tougher and bigger, so do the caterpillars. Spring thunderstorms wake up the snakes, it is said.

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