Signs of spring are hard to miss. Many colors of new growth begin replacing the muted greys and browns of yards and forests. Violets and spring beauties dot greening lawns with purple, pink and white flowers. The white blossoms of service berry and dogwood, and the deep pinks of redbud trees add color to blue skies.
Woodland wildflowers such as Dutchman’s breeches, bloodroot and may apples bloom on the forest floor, while overhead, elms and maples sprout small blossoms and new, lime-green leaves.
Mourning cloak butterflies, which overwintered in tree cavities, are emerging now. Their rippling flight adds grace and color to the landscape. Bees, moths and wasps help usher in the season by pollinating many of the first spring wildflowers.
Migratory birds join the year-round residents. They feast on the emerging insect life and fill the air with their songs of courtship.
At twilight, bats appear. In flight, they beat their wings continually. With erratic dodging, and short, soaring sweeps, they pursue insects.
On warm nights, at shallow ponds and roadside ditches, spring peeper frogs call mates with clear, bird-like, “peeps.” The sustained, musical trills of American toads add to the chorus.
Get more serviceberry facts with the MDC Field Guide.