February 29, 2012
A Spring-like February
The skies are clear and beautifully blue. The temperature has been reaching a high of 70 degrees on some days. You'd think it was spring. It's not. It's February. Spring is still a month away.
It might be hard to see in this picture, but if you look closely you'll see the black and yellow marbled pattern of a northern box turtle. They dig deep into the soil to keep their bodies from freezing while they sleep during the cold winter months. But as you can see, this little guy is under very shallow cover. This means that this particular turtle is about to emerge for the spring. He may already have done so as the surrounding soil seems a bit loose.
And, naturally during springtime, the wood frogs emerge from their leaf and soil cover to create an enormous racket. I was making my way to a nearby stream at the sanctuary when I came across these guys calling out for potential mates already. But it's not springtime. It's February.
Here's a look at what was just over the hill:
Amazing. All this springtime activity in February - which is traditionally the coldest, snowiest month of the year - makes you wonder what the rest of the year will look like.
I'm a Master Naturalist and an outdoor enthusiast -- mostly kayaking, and I live on a Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm the author of The Nature Fan, Nature Fan Activists, Green Earth Almanac, and Amanda's Geographic. Formerly, I ran the nationally syndicated column "National Green Activism" for The Examiner, and I was a key factor in the success of many campaigns. Make sure you don't miss a post, and subscribe by email! Thanks for reading.