A remarkable transformation has occurred: the barren, earthy browns and greys of the landscape surrounding Brockway Mountain has become an ocean of green that touches the dividing lakeline of Superior. Even more remarkable is how swiftly those subtle tree buds became a profusion of foliage in only a matter of days, turning on its head that old joke about the boredom of watching grass grow. Yes, Spring is anything but boring! The planet’s life force at this time of year is apparent to even the most hardened indoor denizens, who would be successful in ignoring the ebb and flow of avian migration other times of the year. But it’s hard to slight the uplifting changes to that “uncivilized” world that hugs the more tamed landscapes we dwell in, especially after growing accustomed to a melancholy stillness. I think it is a welcome change, even if you love winter like I do.
Early morning temperatures still routinely hover a few degrees above the freezing point, although early afternoon temperatures now regularly climb into the 60s (and even the 70s). To experience a temperature swing on the mountain of 30+ degrees in an eight hour period is still a small shock to my system, and I now find myself unsure of just how warmly I should dress for the day. This should get easier as we close in on the Summer Solstice. (Or not?)
Hawk flights remain strong, and new songbird species seem to arrive with each passing front. The contrast from the first weeks of the count in March/April is simply stunning, and with Spring coming so late to the Mouth of the Wolf, I feel I’m no longer in any position to predict how much longer we can expect good flights from atop Brockway. Even suboptimal winds seem to bring enough raptors to stave off empty binocular scans and navel gazing. (And this is definitely A Good Thing, as Martha Stewart used to say.) And I now regularly park myself behind one of the stone barriers near West Bluff for a few minutes at a time to listen for songbirds in the valley between Brockway & Rocky Ridge, which functions as much as an acoustic amplifier for faint sounds as it serves as a wind block for the vibrant life taking shelter in the trees below.
In any case, the migration’s still got juice in it. Hopefully you do, too! More soon . . .
Pausing for Thought Atop Brockway,