A robin was singing shortly after 4 am this morning, followed soon after by a veery. I’ve read that the timing of bird awakening is correlated to the size of its eye. Big eyed birds are the earliest risers.

The first cut of hay is coming down. Farmers around here are leaving 4″ instead of the traditional 2″ because it’s been so dry.

Every green thing is fully leafed out now and so far very little has been eaten by insects or has been food for fungi. A short-lived lushness that’s almost tropical.

Luckily, singing season for the veery lasts a long time. They’re still at it, mostly in the mornings and evenings.

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.