Spring Has Arrived in the Barrens

As everyone knows it was getting really dry in the Barrens and all over this area. The last time there was any precipitation was May 1st and that was a small amount of mixed rain/snow. We basically went  2 weeks with no rain. It finally started raining a on May 15th, and we probably got at least 1 1/2″ – 3″ over a 3 day period finally clearing yesterday afternoon. My rain gauge broke, so I don’t have a good number, but it was a nice long steady rain, a real “soaker” and just what we needed.

Birdfoot Violet
Birdfood Violet

With the rain it seemed like overnight spring arrived as everything just “exploded” in growth. The burned areas are now quickly turning a lush green, and I’ve never seen so many birdfoot violets before. There are long patches along all the fire lanes and the bright purple shows up against the still blacken areas from the recent burn. The bright yellow hoary puccoon is starting to show up as well. There is another yellow flower that just starting to bloom, but I’m not sure what it is. Many tiny flowers coming out of a “cone” looking pod about 1 1/2″ in diameter. The petals are not quite out, so it’s hard to tell what it is.

Hoary Puccoon
Hoary Puccoon

Those that were on the bird tour last Saturday saw some of this already, but there is much more after the rain. Of course around the perimeter of the barrens the oak leaves are finally “exploding” with that beautiful yellow-green color. Springtime has arrived indeed.

Note: Right after the bird tour ended, I drove north on Gomulak Fire Lane and just before getting to the east STG blind there were two sandhill cranes standing about 50 yards from the road. I haven’t seen sandhill cranes in the barrens before. And early that morning on the way to the cabin there were two Canada geese standing on the shoulder of No Mans Lake Road, an odd place for geese.

 Vern Drake

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