Saturday, April 25, 2009

a butterfly!

This afternoon after my hike with Jane Vincent, i picked up Destiny for tutoring, she spotted a butterfly. A first again; the Mourning Cloak. Here in my (disorganized) notes i find:
1998 April 16
1999 April 16
2000 April 21
2005 April 22
2009 April 25, later again, as you see, but I don't see them every year. So i am very happy that at least one came out of hibernation.

Leaving this morning at 9 o'clock (when the trails are still frozen, a bit.) i biked over to Jane, who lives closer to the highway, East from here. From her place we hike South towards the Mendenhall meadows, to go to the 911-pond which is West from me. At the bluffs below her house, there is a Mountain Bluebird :( no photo.
And i spot two Robins! The first one arrived yesterday in my yard.

Following the meadows, it takes us less than two hours to get to the pond, where....

In the very distant we see two Trumpeter Swans sitting in what seems the snow. But taking a closer look there is open water.

And as you see the skidoo trail all frozen, we are walking on a long 'bridge' among water. We do fall through at a few places, but get no more than a wet foot. As where there is water, it is swamp, and the swamp still frozen underneath.
But the swans are here! I wonder if they are a little later as usual, but for sure the ice is going out late.
For swans, yesterday Virginia had a around 100 flying around her in her field, plus some 50 Canada Geese. Lucky her!
She directs them to Mendenhall, and i did see a dozen fly over, when crossing the pond.

On the way back, we take my shortcut through the woods to come out by the highway.
In the forest my snowshoe/ski trail is rather soft. But we pass some mystical waterholes on the way, some with running water. I assume it is all melt water, no creeks here, nor swamps. This year it seems very different the way everything melts.
But like always it is wonderful to see everything reappearing, walking in mud, through water, gravel, dry grass, etc.

We had lunch at the Mendenhall river, maybe (at this location), the last time this season, as soon we won't be able to cross the 911-pond.
I made a photo of the water flowing under a thin sheet of ice.

You have to imagine the flow, sparkling movement and gurgling.
We lay down on the crisp dry grass on the shore, dreaming.


Cicero Sings said...

Spring IS coming. Look at that melt! And swans too. Super.

Our snow is all gone, well maybe the odd patch in the veriest shady of spots. It seemed to disappear right into the ground ... sucked right up. Hardly any run off into the lake. We were so hoping the lake would fill up some. While the lake's water levels came up a little, not nearly enough. Unless we get a wet summer, it will probably drop even lower than last year. Sigh.

RachelW said...

Beautiful swans!

I always greet the first butterfly with a mixture of excitement and panic. What if the temperature dips again?? I always worry about the early ones.

We haven't seen any mourning cloaks yet, but Bela saw a moth yesterday.

Sue said...

Do you see the effects of global warming? I don't see it, yet, although temperatures here are strange. It's never this warm. But is it global warming?

Anonymous said...



jozien said...

Cicero, if anything, we have more water here in the last few years. Ours flowing to the North, not coming your way.

Rachel, don't worry about the butterfly it survived 40 below, while sleeping.

Sue, global warming, yes, it is happening, as in outside my window, ice patches high in the mountains, melting, that had been there for....long time. I am not worried though.

Thanks Willem, I enjoy the carnival, from afar.