Late Winter Walk


The Sand hill Cranes  fill the air with their calls

I’ve said it before, Spring has sprung in the Midwest!

We took a walk in the local forest preserve to enjoy the latest batch of awesome weather Mother Nature baked up for us this week. It was 50F / 10C and that is a tad above average. The forecast is for the temperature to continue on this week with little precipitation. Sweet. It was 2012 when I last witnessed this early of a spring. We had lilacs blooming April 13th! A more regular pattern would be blooming by May 15ish. The springs since then have seemed to really drag on… I keep a camping journal and noticed that in all the years of camping between 2011 & 2015, we’ve never camped in May. Long bouts of precipitation is the only thing that stops us from camping. We couldn’t care less about the temperature, however if we can’t have a campfire, why camp? We usually use those rainy weekends for house chores… They don’t do themselves. Or can they?

There were many other creatures enjoying this fine Saturday. Mother doe and her two offspring were resting in the brush off the side of the trail. She wasn’t too wary of us, however kept watch.

image  image

I always like finishing my walk by circling the first pond as there are usually swan around. I didn’t get too far when I noticed another one of Mother Nature’s creatures enjoying the warmth.. and another and another. My brain didn’t freak-out, but I did assess my current situation and concluded that the only bad part about this situation was that I was wearing wimpy, walking Mary Jane’s and not hiking boots. I backed out the way I came, snapping pictures on my camerone, hoping I would capture a shot.


An ‘overcrowded’ area of Real Estate… ie – more that 3 snakes in my sight!

The area was pretty much covered in snakes. Not like Indiana-Jones-pit-of-snakes snakes but enough that even I wasn’t going to push forward.  I’m not scared of Midwestern Snakes, as they are not venomous (these were garter snakes). Even had I been wearing boots they couldn’t bite through, I didn’t want to step on any of the little guys! You could hardly see them. I actually heard them before I saw them. Slither slither slither ~~~~~~C8~

I couldn’t see any fish in the pond, however I knew they were there by the amount of fisherpeople throwing lines in. A sign that these ponds are healthy was the amount of animal activity around it. Another thing I learned from my frog monitoring days is that there are fewer to no fish in ponds where you can hear lots of frogs. Why? Because fish eat frog eggs. So if you’re fishing on a pond that is buzzing with RIBBITS!!! most likely you’ll not have a good day fishing.



© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

28 thoughts on “Late Winter Walk

  1. I couldn’t see the snakes on my phone, meh.

    Garter snakes are cool. The fact that they were out warming up is a sure sign of Spring, because like some other snakes we won’t mention here, garter snakes find places to make “snake balls” in the winter, to conserve heat. If they unwind themselves, they don’t go back into their hibernation balls, so they take the risk of freezing. So if your flowers come into bloom now, they have a good chance of not getting frost bite! I’m still traumatized by an early Spring in Rochester, where there’s an avenue with a center island planted with old Magnolia trees. They were in full bloom when BAM there was a hard frost, and the next day was warm and sunny except all the magnolia blooms were dead on the ground SOB…

    Oh yes CAMPING, it’s in the air! Looking forward to stories and photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love nature and I get it…boots are essential…you never know what you are gonna find out there or what terrain. I realized this on my last hike when my nikes just weren’t doing the job as I slid down a hill, lol. The snakes would have thrown my mother into a panic attack. I really enjoy how your blog brings you along to each location. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The expression “snake in the grass” is an insult to snakes. If snakes called us “humans on the earth,” how would we like it (unless they’re referring just to their fellow snakes in the grass: politicians)? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! I guess I don’t exactly get the expression, as that’s where they are supposed to be. Now had you said “snakes in the air”, that would have freaked me out as who knew they could fly, let alone run for office 😉 Now that is an insult to the little guys!


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