Yup, yup, yup! Spring is coming, and while the temperatures of the last couple weeks might have fooled some people, the lengthening days are making slow and steady progress in shifting the forest into spring.
The first thing that one notices -- in addition to the very slow melting of the piles of plowed snow, still here days after the slow retreat of the snow on the lawn -- is the dissonant chorus of geese as they fly above the forest, making their way roughly northward. (Although when they fly over the forest, they seem as often to fly east to west than south to north.) Some of them splash down in Third Sister, but most -- thankfully -- continue past. For those that do splash down, I have to ensure that they don't want to settle in (I'm not a large fan of goose-poop).
Following the geese are ducks, and I saw some paddling around the lake. They come in, gliding downward to the lake, and paddle around, quacking up a storm when they do.
Going around the forest yesterday, I also saw a perfusion of robins (hop-hop-hopping along) pecking at the ground. They're back a little later than in years past (or perhaps I'm just noticing them now).
The forecast for Sunday calls for rain, which will (hopefully) finally get rid of the mounds of icy-snow that remain on the property.
Use of the Forest
Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):
- No parking in front of the access gate.
- Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
- No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use (bike parking available at the main gate).
- Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash. (Also see here.)
- Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so.
- No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates (this includes no fishing).
- No smoking.