From Spring we understand the concept of techias hameisim, revival of the dead.  The monotone and desolate landscape of grey and brown is changing anew and the pulsing lifeforce is unstoppable.  Finally, finally, the oak, beech, birch and maple trees have tiny green leaves.  By next week I imagine they will burst forth and the trees will be fully covered, and our immediate view from the screen porch will change.  No longer will we see the pond at the bottom of the driveway due to cover from heavy foliage.  Even if they are no longer as easily visible, we will still be treated to the deafening chirping of the pond’s residents:  spring peepers (frogs), Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, and pintails, and the occasional loon, eagle, owl and osprey.

So many creatures are out and about now, I make sure to take my camera with me wherever I go.  I’m still waiting for the elusive moose!  As I drove by a field the other day, I caught this porcupine digging the grass in search of lunch.  Once he sensed my presence, he (fortunately) decided to make a run for it, rather than shoot his quills in my direction.  Unfortunately the last time I met up with a porcupine, my dog decided he was most fascinating and worth investigating more closely.  Luckily he only caught two quills in his fur.  It is not uncommon for dogs to get stuck with dozens of quills, requiring a visit to the vet to extract them, and sometimes, if the quills go into a dog’s throat, the dog must be euthanized.  The long quills are barbed, razor sharp, and look like crochet hooks.  Consequently, a porcupine does not have many predators.

(click to enlarge)

Mr. Porcupine running away

At about 6:30 in the morning, I opened the front door to find a woodpecker, called a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, on the tree closest to the house.

Look at the holes he's drilled into the trunk (click to enlarge)

Then I got really lucky.  A second woodpecker decided to join his friend in search of breakfast.

(click to enlarge)

Sometimes the flora can be as spectacular as the fauna.  While hiking nearby, we came upon some unusual-looking mushrooms.

This strange fungus attached to a tree trunk looks like a giant clam. It is bigger than a human head (click to enlarge)

This weird mushroom looks like a moose's head with antlers (click to enlarge)

Every day new wonders await.  There is joy in the promise of surprise and discovery.

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