Observation Day #3

Krissy, River

I’ve heard about all sorts of fascinating sights from our last trip outdoors: wood frogs, grey squirrels, a whole slew of common birds, and even an osprey. I didn’t manage to see any of the local fauna. However, despite my observational failure, the forest felt alive for the first time this year. I believe that the majority of that energy came from the humidity. The dew brought out all the vibrant colors in the environment. The grounded leaves that I had previously seen as shades of decaying brown, but on Friday, they burned vibrantly in an array of oranges, reds, yellows, browns, and purples.

The dew also seemed to lift the dirt’s nutrients into the air, and the whole forest had this intoxicating, refreshing smell. Each breath brought the spring freshness into my body, pulling me out of my winter mindset the same way the spring pulls leaves from the buds and flowers from the topsoil. You could taste the spring aroma floating through the forest.

I don’t know bird calls, but I’m starting to wish I did. Avian sounds filled the forest, the chirps and squawks and wingbeats echoing through the trees. Last time I sat in the woods and listened, I had to focus intensely to hear the birds at all, but since then, they shattered the silence completely. In addition to the euphonious sound of birds, I heard squirrels scrambling up and down trees, their tiny claws scraping against bark. If I had seen them, I might have seen them chasing each other or leaping from branch to branch. The wood frogs also emerged from their winter hiding places, and at the places they congregated, their croaking, which was admittedly kind of annoying, trumpeted loudly.

While the air was still cool and clouds still shrouded the sun, the forest felt lively again, and I knew that spring had come.

~Michael Tuchler

broken hemlockBeaver girdle

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