Spring watch

I spent a good part of the past two days up at Carol’s parents’ house in Westford, Mass. There’s a small wooded wetland right next to their house, and Friday in the late afternoon a chorus of frogs sang very loudly. (Actually, it wouldn’t be accurate to say they sing: the sound is something between a small dog barking and a Mallard duck quacking.) I’m not sure what kind of frog those are, but those were the only frogs I heard last night. And then this evening there were three or four spring peepers adding their voices to the chorus.

There’s a small pond a quarter of a mile away from the house; not a natural pond, but a constructed pond that a developer built in front of some condos. Yesterday Carol and I went for a walk around this pond, and she pointed out for me where sunfish had made nests. There were perhaps half a dozen of these nests, depressions in the sandy bottom near the edge of the pond, about ten inches across and several inches deep. She said that last week she saw a little Bluegill guarding each nest, but we didn’t see any fish there yesterday.

Driving up to Westford from New Bedford yesterday and this morning, I took I-495 most of the way. Perhaps I didn’t notice yesterday, but driving up today I realized that a few willow trees were starting to bloom. All the other trees are still a wintry gray, but a few willows had turned a straw-yellow color.