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Nature Almanac


8511 Greeley Blvd.
Springfield, Virginia 22152
703-451-9588

Spring Peepers

Almanac for April 2014

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:  Ancient folklore tells us that winter is not over until we have seen snow on the blooming forsythia bushes, which is true more often than not. When (not if) things warm up, red maple flowers will turn into wine colored winged seeds. Pastel green tulip poplar leaves emerge. Male pickerel frogs, spring peepers, cricket frogs, chorus frogs all now call for mates. American toads usually spawn now. American beech trees drop last year’s brown leaves and begin to sprout new greenery; folklore tells us that this means no more frost. We shall see.
  • 2nd week:  The full “Pink Moon” rises April 14. Shad bushes in bloom remind us that the shad migration is on. (That’s why the shad bush, a small tree, was given that name!) The forest floor is now carpeted with spring beauties, trout lilies, cut-leafed toothwort, and Virginia bluebells. Canada geese usually begin to incubate their eggs now. White-throated sparrows depart for Canada.
  • 3rd week:  Dogwood blossoms at peak. Morel hunters head for their secret places to search for these tasty mushrooms. Tiger swallowtail butterflies emerge from pupa, mate and lay their eggs on wild cherry trees. New shrubbery leaves provide cover so that cardinals, robins, and mockingbirds can begin nest building.
  • 4th week:  Pink lady’s slippers bloom, usually dusted with oak pollen. Warbler migration is now at its peak. Gold finch males now molt from drab winter brown into dazzling yellow plumage. Wild azalea blossoms have a sweet fragrance; domestic azaleas, though showier, have lost this quality. Hummingbirds and chimney swifts arrive. In the evening we hear the wood thrush fill the forest with the sound of summer.

 

 


Hidden Pond Nature Center, Fairfax County Park Authority

8511 Greeley Boulevard, Springfield, VA 22152. Phone 703/451-9588

 


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