Heralds of Spring

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



Spring Dandelions
Pity the poor dandelion — a legitimate spring wildflower that most blaspheme as a weed.
Photo courtesy DEGGINGER/ANIMALS ANIMALS
Nature
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).
Photo courtesy TOMVEZO.COM
Red Winged Blackbird
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!
Photo courtesy RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
Azure Butterfly
Spring azure butterflies are the first butterflies to emerge, transformed, from a long winter’s pupal sleep in hard-shelled chrysalises.
Photo courtesy BUREK/ANIMALS ANIMALS
Painted Turtle
On early spring days, painted turtles newly emerged from hibernation rest on pond-side rocks or logs, basking in the season’s renewing sun.
Photo courtesy RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
Morel Mushrooms
No mushrooms are as fervently sought after as morels, woodland delicacies that in most regions show themselves in spring for only about three weeks.
Photo courtesy DAVID CAVAGNARO
Frosty Grass
Hardly to be dreaded, true final frosts make the new season all the more beautiful.
Photo courtesy DWIGHT KUHN
Bee On Dandelion
Don’t hate dandelions — these wildflowers feed bugs beneficial to gardens.
Photo courtesy DONALD SPECKER/ANIMALS ANIMALS
Morel
Look for morel mushrooms after warm rains, especially at the bases of old trees.
Photo courtesy RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
Spring Butterfly
Spring azure butterflies are just one of nature’s most colorful signals that spring has sprung.
Photo courtesy RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
Final Frost
A true spring frost protects plants, as opposed to a freeze, which causes cell walls to expand and burst.
Photo courtesy MICHAEL DURHAM
Baby Turtle
This baby painted turtle will grow up to engage in one of nature’s most graceful courtship rituals.
Photo courtesy DWIGHT KUHN











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