Nature Notes

Vol. VIII May, 1930 No. 5

Spring's 'Theme Song'
willow branch winter wren

The theme song of spring is as varied as are its numerous interests and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep abreast of seasonal happenings at this time. Consequently NATURE NOTES seems to be always about a month behind this spring.

The deep woods are now entirely free of snow up to about 3500' and the first plants are beginning to push their way through the moist humus of the forest floor. A hike brings us to the rocky river bar of the Nisqually where the melodious tinkle of the Junco's song is heard above the roar of those glacial waters. Almost ventriloquil in its effect, it requires a moment to locate the singer but, perched on the very tip of a small pine, we see him and with the aid of our binoculars watch this bird pour forth his version of the season's awakening.

Deep woods again. The carpet of ferns and mosses is glossy in the wake on one of our spring showers. The tardy sun projects its rays through the heavy canopy of evergreen foliage overhead. Great firs and hemlocks lift their trunks from the tangled mass of vegetation on the forest floor and only the distant hum of the Nisqually and the song of the wind in the tree tops disturbs the impressive silence of the woods. The effect is cathedral-like. And then, from somewhere within the deep recesses of the timber comes the melody of the Winter Wren that blends with the low tones of the wind and water as does the acria of some hidden organ. The fronds of the bracken are unfolding and the delicate Oak fern is also evident for the first time. The trail skirts a small meadow. Two Swallows cleave the air in fantastic gyrations. Two yearling deer stop feeding for a moment to watch, alert, as we pass. frog And as the shadows of night envelop the hills the resonant voices of frogs arise from along the marshes. The "theme song" of spring is life!

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