The Wilderness Is Returning To Life

by Curt Kovener Curt line

There was some scattered frost around the wilderness Sunday. Even though spring wildflowers are blooming, Old Man Winter is begrudgingly giving way to the growing season. And while there was morning frost, by mid-afternoon I was working in shirt sleeves.
In the woodland meadow are violets galore along with the white & pink tinged Spring Beauties and yellow Johnny jump-ups. The paw-paw trees are forming their bronze bell-like flowers and red bud and dog wood are all in full bloom. The three leafed & three petaled Trillium are blooming and I see May Apple blossoms forming.
Critters are also moving about in the warmer weather. Unfortunately showing activity is the tent caterpillar. Their webby fortress is visible in the crotch of young wild cherry trees and the worms grow as they devour the cherry foliage.
I make it a personal task to remove the invaders to try to spare the young trees. And practicing recycling, the glob of web and worms gets shaken from the dock to the delight of the always hungry bluegill.
This past weekend was winter cleanup as I helped my neighbor remove some downed trees. We took the trunks of the tree and stacked them into a pyramid and placed the brush over the top making a brush pile for critters. Rabbits should like the habitat as a place to hide from predators and hawks which I have been seeing in greater numbers this past years.
As I mowed for the first time Sunday afternoon, I noticed a large clump of black netting. It formerly served as a fence to keep deer from the thornless blackberry. I figured that a deer, possibly a buck who has not yet shed his antlers, tried to nibble the tender growth of the thornless berries & got the netting caught and ran off.
But when I stopped the mower to move the debris, I think I learned the real reason it was torn from the fence posts. There were remnants of a partially eaten blacksnake which had gotten caught trying to crawl through black netting. (I have had to cut free other snakes which became imprisoned in such a manner in the past.)
I suspect that a raccoon attempted to carry of the still not dead snake and pulled snake, fence & all down the hill for lunch or supper.
But the leaves and flowers are not the only things to be greening up in the wilderness.
The spearmint wintered over quite well in its large pot in the basement. Now that it has been moved near the sidewalk, the warm weather, sunshine and rain is sending fresh mint skyward a harbinger of the coming julep season.
It is a delight to share a julep with a friend as we watch the wonder of the woodland wilderness.