“Behold my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.”
Spring has arrived, and the shining sun reveals growth everywhere between the forest floor and blossoming tree buds.
While visiting Teal Pond in April, you will find the male Red-winged Blackbird perched on cattails with vibrant red shoulder patches. With feathers fluffed out and tail partly spread, it sings a warning call of “Conk-a-ree,” to declare and defend its nesting territory. They may even dive bomb those who get too close – including humans.
Walk near the Pavilion in May to discover the ephemeral beauty of spring wild flowers. The bright yellow of Marsh Marigolds can be seen in the wetland area. The forest floor is adorned with purple Wood Violets, white Trillium, and Yellow Trout-lilies.
June is perfect for taking a stroll on the Boardwalk at Mystery Lake. Painted Turtles bask on logs throughout Mystery and our other ponds. The heat warms their bodies, increases their metabolism, and aids in digestion. Sunlight strengthens their shell and reduces the amount of algae on the turtle’s exterior, which in turn reduces the animals’ chance of developing infections. Many species feel better with a little sun on their face.
Throughout the Center’s grounds, sprouting plants and emerging animals are shaking off the cold and enjoying the renewed embrace of the spring sun. Take a walk through any of the Center’s habitats and you will see and hear the rebirth of which Sitting Bull spoke.