I finished cleaning and closing up the bluebird nest boxes over the last few days, and it’s a good thing! The bluebirds arrived yesterday. I saw 3 pairs; two of them had already claimed boxes.
Spring really feels like it has arrived – it’s 63 degrees right now. I’m sure we’ll have more snow and cold weather but for the moment I’m enjoying the smell of spring and the songs of the birds. Red-winged Blackbirds arrived yesterday – another early sign of spring. We saw some in the Buffalo River Valley – just over the ridge – last week, but it always takes them a little longer to get to our valley.
The woodchucks came out last week – they’re busily running all over the rocks behind the house, checking out how their world has changed since they went to sleep last fall.
Here are some farm scenes from the last week. The north facing wooded hills, and the protected valleys still have deep snow in places. But the prairies are mostly free of snow.
There are even a few plants showing green leaves. This one is Bird’s Foot Violet.
Finally, after looking hard all winter, I found some Promethea Moth cocoons yesterday. Ian has found at least 50 this winter, and I’ve been so jealous! But now I have my own.
I found 3 cocoons, all on or near the same Black Cherry tree. The caterpillars wrap themselves in a leaf, then secure the leaf to a twig, and build their cocoon inside the wrapped leaf.
I also got some Promethea cocoons from Ian – some of the dozens that he found this winter.
I tied them onto the sides of my cage, so they would hang the same way they hang in the wild. They should emerge in June or July.