The green frog tadpoles that overwintered in our pond are getting legs, mostly back legs at this point. Meanwhile, adult females are laying small eggs in big masses. It takes a year to make a green frog.

This weekend’s cool, May-like weather has been a blessing for those of us who are desperately trying to catch up on our wood.

In winter black locust trees are stark – black, with sharply twisted branches, almost creepy. When flowering, as they are now, they are completely covered with gently drooping, beautiful flowers that almost cover a background of delicate leaves.

Thick bushes are a good place to house the short-tailed fledglings that are still being fed. Not sure why short tails make birds look so cute, but they do.

Sometimes, in the middle of the fronds of interrupted ferns, the leaflets are fertile and produce spores. Now these spore-producing leaflets are almost black and look as though they are deformed in some way. Not very attractive, but functionally they are fine. Just interrupted.

Scarlet tanagers tend to sing from the treetops and the leaves are big enough now to obscure them. It might take a little time to see one but it’s well worth the effort.

We’re a little nervous today, as we just sent out our first mass emailing, designed to let the world know we exist. Our existence depends on pre-buys and donations. If you enjoy this content, please support us. And please reach out to us with questions, story ideas, or simply to introduce yourself.

Bears have been digging up jack-in-the-pulpits throughout the hardwood parts of our land. They make neat, clean little cone-shaped holes and only eat the big plants. The small jacks that so often surround the parent plants remain – until next year.

Starflower (Trientalis borealis) is a 4-inch high plant that doesn’t last very long and has small flowers, typically just one or two. The leaves are in a whorl, commonly of seven leaves and the small white flowers usually have seven petals. I don’t know of any other plants that grow in sevens, but maybe there are some. Another feature of starflower that is unusual is the flower stalks: at about an inch long, they are as slender as a fine thread. You can barely see them.