Frogs, Turtles , Geese And Ducks! It’s Spring At The Local Community Park.
It’s hard to believe it’s been four months since I last visited my local Community Park in Hazle Township. My last visit here was on Thanksgiving Day last November. I would often take my afternoon walks here in the warmer months. The snow, ice , mud and cold had me walking on the plowed streets in my neighborhood during the Winter.
But, it’s Spring now and the warm weather we had the last few weeks finally melted the snow. So, last Friday, the last day of Winter, I decided to drive to Community Park which is located a few miles from my home. I arrived under clear blue skies and bright March sunshine. However, a cold front had just passed through, and it was cold and windy with temperatures in the low 30’s. I walked down to Lake Irena and found it ice free. There was no snow or ice on the trails either.
I ended my three mile hike on Friday and returned to the Community park on Monday. It was warmer, with sunshine and temperatures in the upper 50’s. The warm weather attracted dozens of fishermen, families and many other visitors to the park and lake.
I took the same three mile hike as I did Friday. The seven Canada geese were still on the waters of the lake. However, I only saw this one male mallard. I would guess the female may have already laid eggs and was tending her nest.
Well this year I found out. As I approached the pond I heard the splashing of water as the croaking frogs jumped underwater to safety. I stood quietly near the pond for a while and watched as almost two dozen frogs slowly swam to the surface of this small pond.
I have since learned they are wood frogs.
They would float motionlessly on the waters, occasionally engaging in egg producing activities. Reading about these frogs I have learned that during the winter they hide under the leaf litter, and can survive being frozen solid! Amazing the wonders of nature, so much of which I am unaware.
I finished my three mile hike without seeing any other wildlife, but once again it was a nice and educational walk. It was even warmer on Tuesday, temperatures were now in the 60’s when I returned again to Community Park for another hike. Except for a few high clouds the skies were mostly clear.
I followed the same path I did on my two prior hikes. I again saw seven Canada geese, the mallard duck, the wood frogs and robins. There was only one new addition to my list of wildlife, this turtle, which I think is a painted turtle but I am not sure of the identification. But it took advantage of the warm March sun soaking up it’s rays on a log.
I kept to my routine and followed the same route I did on my three previous hikes. I didn’t see the mallard ducks on this hike but the geese where there. And my turtle friend now had three companions on his log.
I came to the vernal pond and heard the almost quacking like chorus of the wood frogs. Here is a link to a YouTube video I uploaded of chorus of the wood frogs. https://youtu.be/SnI_vEqllTg The frogs dove into the safety of the pond as I approached. I examined the pond and discovered large deposits of eggs which I am assuming were from the wood frogs.
Walking back from my three mile hike I heard another wonderful sound, the chorus of the spring peeper frogs. I love this sound which is a sure sign Spring is here. Here is a YouTube video I uploaded. https://youtu.be/1x64JO5OYfYI enjoyed my hikes in the Community Park and look forward to continuing them, and sharing the beauty of nature i discover there. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photo from my hikes in Community Park. Community Park hikes March 19 to March 25 2021.
Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there
To-morrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L. H. Bailey