The heat has come with an intensity that echoes the cold of the winter. We are left second guessing our activities. Will it be okay to plan something? Should we wait until later to plan? At some point we just shrug and get on with life. The plants are left doing the same thing. It is mid May and we are seeing flowers that normally are out in April. Right by their side are the May blooms. Trees are filling in fast, shading out the forest floor, cutting the time for early flowers. This month will go fast, the bloodroots and wood anemone will come and go, Jack in the Pulpit have sprung up. Violets and strawberries cover the ground.
The ferns are uncurling as we speak. There are Oak, Wood and Marsh fern are showing up in the leaf litter, fiddleheads almost invisible. The sturdy fiddle heads of the ostrich fern, pale green clumps, ready to eat for those so inclined.
The butterflies hover over the field, white and yellow. A quick flash of blue reveals the presence of a Blue Azure darting over the stream. Mourning Cloaks float through the branches looking for mates. Soon the Monarchs will return, ready to create the next generation.
Speaking of new arrivals, the Cliff Swallows have returned! Nesting in the shed at the south end of the farm yard, they can be annoying for those with machinery covered in droppings, but these birds fly thousands of miles to come here. To the place they were hatched. To spend the summer eating more mosquitos and flies than you knew existed. To then make the return journey with new family members in two. They join the 4 other species of swallow that nest around the village. Tree, Cliff, Northern Rough Winged, Barn and Bank. The air is alive, morning noon and night over the fields and woods.