The spring migration has commenced

I see the moon and the moon sees me
Down through the leaves of the old oak tree
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the one I love

~ Nursery rhyme

There are variations on this rhyme and even several song versions.  I like this one best.

Last night’s moonrise caught me making dinner.  That seems to happen a lot lately.  I grabbed the camera, rushed outside, and took a few photos.  Hand held is really not the way to go for moon shots, but things were happening in the kitchen that couldn’t wait while I set up the tripod, moved around the yard, and carried on a photo shoot with the moon.  Dinner would have been overcooked (or on fire) by the time I returned from such an outing.

The March full moon (which is tomorrow) has many traditional names including Fish Moon, Sleepy Moon, Chaste Moon, and Moon of Winds.  One of my favorites is Moon When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow.  Most years, we’ve had so much snow by now that Moon When Eyes Are Sore From Bright Snow is a good name for it.  Moon of Winds is more appropriate for us here in the Bogs this year.  It is indeed windy.

I woke up this morning to find that the spring migration has begun.  The pink flamingos are back.

For those of you fairly new to my blog, the pink flamingos show up sometime in the early spring, around the same time the Canada Geese try to claim the pond for their own.  The geese do not like the pink flamingos at first.  Then they grow used to them and decide to join them on the banks of the pond.  That’s when our rest is over and we have to once again remind the geese that they are not welcome here until they learn to clean up after themselves.  We used to leave the flamingos out during the winter months, but this turned out to be unkind to their coloring (they would fade), and their legs (they would break).

In case it’s not obvious (I think it is, but I know what I’m looking at), the flamingos are plastic with metal legs.  I have a history with pink flamingos which you can start to read about here, if you’re interested in part or all of the story.

Honeybee visiting the crocuses

The honeybees are out and about today.  The wind must be hard on them.  This poor guy was having trouble flying from flower to flower.  Just as he’d lift off, a gust of wind would come along and try to blow him away from the flowers.  The winds are currently gusting (frequently) at about 20mph.

I spent about two hours in the garden this afternoon, cleaning up the asparagus bed.  I’m getting a little frustrated with it, and considering digging up the last row of asparagus, tilling it, and starting over.  I didn’t get to the last row for a final weeding last fall and now it’s a mess.  There were moments while I was out there trying to sort the asparagus from the weeds that I was convinced starting over would be easier even if it does mean waiting a few years to harvest.

Pussy willow soaking up some sun on this warm March day.

I saw a wooly bear (which grows up to be an Isabella Tiger Moth) while I was carting the old asparagus ferns from the garden to the meadow.  It seems like a strange time to see a wooly bear.  I normally associate them with the autumn months.  It turns out that it’s not unusual to see wooly bears in the spring.

Wooly bear.

The wooly bear overwinters in its caterpillar form.  Here’s the fascinating part:  It freezes solid (provided it gets cold enough, of course).  Its heart stops beating, then its gut freezes, followed by the freezing of its blood and the rest of its body.  The wooly bear thaws in the spring and emerges to pupate.  Once it completes its metamorphosis into a moth, it has only days to find a mate before it dies.

Today's view of the pond

Now that we have learned a little about the wooly bear, it is time for me to go.  Thank you for visiting me here in the Bogs today.  It’s been a good day to be outside, enjoying the sunshine, the blue sky, and yes, even the wind.  I think the sunset is going to be pretty this evening.  Let’s meet on the deck in a little while to watch it.  I’m making a curry for dinner.  Something very spicy with cauliflower and potatoes.


38 Comments on “The spring migration has commenced”

  1. Dana says:

    Fascinating about the caterpillar– who knew? I also enjoyed the various names for this month’s full moon. Beautiful hand-held shots! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Dana. 🙂

      I didn’t know until I looked it up for this post. I’ve been blogging about the wooly bear for years and never wondered what happened to it over the winter months.

  2. Mmmm.. the curry sounds good. The moon shots are enchanting, Robin, and I’m fascinated by the flamingo strategy for Canada geese control! Interesting about the woolly bear wintering over, too.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Barbara. 🙂

      The flamingos don’t work for long, but they do give us a week or so of rest from running down there and harassing the geese to get them to move on. We noticed last year that seemingly “dead” flamingos (lying them on the ground) also helped to keep the geese away for a while.

  3. I saw a bunch of snow geese in the farmer fields near my house this week. Never seen them this close to my town. They are about a week to 10 days earlier than last year if memory serves me right (and it often doesn’t!).

    • Robin says:

      I saw some snow geese for the first time in my life on the way home from our recent trip to PA, Scott. I couldn’t figure out what they were at first.

  4. dadirri7 says:

    i was teaching yoga until 8 last night, then came over to the house and found the moon suddenly appearing between black storm clouds … had to grab the camera and run! Your moon looks far more peaceful, glowing golden, thank you 🙂

  5. Karma says:

    Oh my goodness what a great collection of spring creatures you have! Never would think it is time for honeybees! I will have to keep my eyes open for pussy willows soon too. So pretty – thanks for sharing them.

  6. All around great post.
    My son and I were wondering last fall what sort of moth they were the larvae of, but never got around to looking it up – thanks for the info.
    We have pussy willows at the same stage, and I saw a flash of yellow on a daffodil today! Unfortunately, we also have the winds…

  7. Wow, Robin, those moon photos are amazing! And I didn’t realize the full moon wasn’t till tomorrow.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy. 🙂

      The moon looked so full the night before last that I was surprised it was still two nights away. I’m glad I caught it when I did. It’s much too cloudy to see the moon tonight.

  8. aFrankAngle says:

    Love the first moon shot and cheers to seeing my first pink flamingo of the season. How dare people not think that Ohio is tropical!

  9. I did not know that about the wooly bears! Kind of gruesome, but they are still my favorite wiggly little crawlers!
    That second moon shot makes me happy all over – beautiful!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Cyndi. 🙂

      I thought it was a bit gruesome, too. Apparently the wooly bears have some sort of preservative (cryo…something) in their blood. Still, imagine having to freeze solid every winter…

  10. I never knew that about the wooly bear – you’d think that freezing like that would kill it!! Great shots of the moon – love the branches around it!! I have actually gotten some pretty decent shots of the moon hand-holding my camera. It was when the moon was too high up in the sky for my tripod (I can’t point my camera straight up with my tripod), so I had to take it off and point it up myself. Since the shutter speed was fairly fast (1/320), I got some pretty clear shots! I saw some sort of white wild flowers coming up along the side of my house the other day, my son thought that they were dying because the buds were hanging down (I have no idea what kind they were). Spring IS coming!! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Holly. 🙂

      Even though it’s going to be cold tomorrow, spring is getting stronger. It’s going to be nice on Saturday and Sunday.

  11. bearyweather says:

    It has been cloudy here, so I have not been able to see the moon … just a bright, glowing spot in the clouds. So thanks for sharing yours so beautifully. I hear that the clouds are also making me miss out on some wonderful northern lights. (your flamingo made me smile)

  12. ~mimo~ says:

    No chance of seeing the moon in Shanghai, although we felt it 🙂 fantastic photography Robin!

  13. Carla says:

    Oh, crocus and pussywillows! Spring treats I miss in tropical NOLA. We too have flamingos. They stay out, year-round, under the bananas. Happy Spring!

  14. Sallyann says:

    Beautiful pictures, especially the moon ones. 🙂

  15. jane tims says:

    Hi. Oh, I love those pussy willows… you photo is the perfect capture of their softness. You did those moons without a tripod?? I like the ‘moon of winds’. Jane

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Jane. 🙂

      Yes, these were all without a tripod. The trick (for me) is not to take too long to focus and snap the picture. The longer I hold the camera, the more shake (and blur).

  16. Great spring pictures! The crocuses look very vibrant and colorful 🙂

  17. Marianne says:

    Oh my, bees already? I haven’t seen the flying insects here yet. I’m jittery when it comes to bees. A phobia from a childhood incident still lingers. Still, it’s wonderful to see nature things. Once again, beautiful photos, Robin. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Bees and robins and red-winged blackbirds and snakes, Marianne. I even saw a butterfly the other day. Spring is very early this year.

      Thank you. 🙂

  18. Nice moon shots. It’s hard to tell they are actually hand-held shots. Good work.

Thank you for visiting, and for commenting. I hope you'll join me at my new blog home, Breezes at Dawn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.