Heralds of Spring

Had enough of winter? Dandelions, red-winged blackbirds, morel mushrooms and more are sure signs that warmer temperatures and brighter days are just around the corner.



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Pity the poor dandelion — a legitimate spring wildflower that most blaspheme as a weed.
DEGGINGER/ANIMALS ANIMALS
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In fall and winter, red-winged blackbirds travel in huge flocks, raiding farm fields and grain lots in dark, swirling clouds (though they also consume hordes of harmful insects).
TOMVEZO.COM
RedWingedBlackbird.jpg
Red-winged blackbirds are one of the most common and widespread birds in the United States and Canada. Each spring, the males stake out breeding territories and defend them from other males by flashing their bright-red shoulder patches and repeatedly singing out conkaREEEEE!
RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
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Spring azure butterflies are the first butterflies to emerge, transformed, from a long winter’s pupal sleep in hard-shelled chrysalises.
BUREK/ANIMALS ANIMALS
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On early spring days, painted turtles newly emerged from hibernation rest on pond-side rocks or logs, basking in the season’s renewing sun.
RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
MorelMushrooms.jpg
No mushrooms are as fervently sought after as morels, woodland delicacies that in most regions show themselves in spring for only about three weeks.
DAVID CAVAGNARO
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Hardly to be dreaded, true final frosts make the new season all the more beautiful.
DWIGHT KUHN
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Don’t hate dandelions — these wildflowers feed bugs beneficial to gardens.
DONALD SPECKER/ANIMALS ANIMALS
MorelMushroom.jpg
Look for morel mushrooms after warm rains, especially at the bases of old trees.
RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
SpringAzureButterfly.jpg
Spring azure butterflies are just one of nature’s most colorful signals that spring has sprung.
RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
FinalFrost.jpg
A true spring frost protects plants, as opposed to a freeze, which causes cell walls to expand and burst.
MICHAEL DURHAM
BabyPaintedTurtle.jpg
This baby painted turtle will grow up to engage in one of nature’s most graceful courtship rituals.
DWIGHT KUHN











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