Still waiting for Spring…

Yesterday we saw our first red-winged blackbird of the year. Our first male cardinal was singing a couple of weeks ago. Blue jays in the woods are calling their melodious courtship songs that are so unlike their harsh everyday caws. We saw our first turkey vulture of the season at the side of the highway last week. Spring will come.

Reading garden blogs during the winter was great fun. These past couple of weeks, it has been, um, shall we say, less fun.   While gardeners in in mid-Atlantic states are posting lovely pictures of their daffodils and hellebores, the best I can do in western Quebec is pretty frost flowers. When even folks in Michigan are blogging about turning their compost piles, it is mighty frustrating to still have two feet of snow. The snow is soggy and rapidly diminishing but big piles still remain. The forecast for last Thursday had been 9°C and rain, and I hoped that the spring chorus of amphibians would begin, but on the actual day, it was colder and the pools were still frozen over. Maybe next week…

My favourite frog, the wood frog, breeds in ephemeral vernal pools and in ephemeral vernal pools only. We see adult wood frogs from time to time in the garden, but I have not heard the quacking of breeding wood frogs on the farm in early spring. Our farm pond, home to a great many green frogs, is spring-fed and present year round. I believe the shallow spring pools in the woods dry too quickly to allow wood frog tadpoles to mature. Fortunately, there is a deep but ephemeral pool beside the gate of the next farm. As soon as there is open water, even before all the ice has gone, the wood frogs will be calling there.

A wood frog in the garden last summer.
A wood frog in the garden last summer.


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Trish Murphy

Artist: botanical, still life, and natural history illustration. Garden designer: native plants and naturalistic gardens

3 thoughts on “Still waiting for Spring…”

  1. Your impatience is easy to understand. Being tempted by sighting only serves to make one grit one’s teeth. ‘They’ say patience is a virtue but, surely, there’s a limit!

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