We have been seeing all sorts of signs of spring lately in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This week I will tell you about all the seasonal changes we have been seeing out here.
Are you seeing any signs of spring where you live?
The days are getting longer. Yesterday the sun rose at 6:30 AM and set at 6:03 PM. This is such a contrast to those days in early December, when the sun rose much later and set much earlier. We have plenty of time in the daylight to pack up camp, travel, and set up camp again. We have also had a lot of sun to charge our batteries with solar panels lately.
What time is the sun rising and setting where you are?
That intense sun has been melting the snow. The snow is pretty much gone on the lakes. There is just a thick layer of ice on the lakes. We have noticed that the snow is even compressing and melting in the woods. Rocks have been appearing and the snow is disappearing around the bases of trees. Our snowman really shows how much melting has gone on over the past few days. Soon the ground will be bare and plants will spring to life.
We are seeing and hearing more animals. There is a grouse somewhere back in the woods near our campsite. We have seen squirrels running around more frequently. We have heard several woodpeckers each day, not to mention an abundance of black-capped chickadees. At our campsite on Basswood Lake, the sound of bald eagles woke us up in the morning. We saw a couple of bald eagles soaring high above the tree tops. The male northern saw-whet owls have been toot-tooting a mating call nightly. The black bears are still hibernating. We expect them to emerge from their dens sometime in April.
Do any animals wake up from hibernation or migrate through your area in the spring?
Perhaps the most exciting thing about spring is that we are beginning to see migrating birds pass through, and we have seen some return. This morning, a pair of tundra swans flew overhead. They have a long ways to go to reach the place they spend their summers in northern Canada. More birds will return once the ice is gone from the lakes. Dave and I are eagerly waiting for the day when we will see the first loons of the season. That will still be a while. We look forward to sharing more observations as the seasons change and the forest awakens.
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