Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring - Snowdrops and snowflakes

This is the first full day of spring and my first post of the new year. As anyone in the northeast knows, it was quite a winter with many nights in the single digits. I haven't been up on the ridge in Inwood Hill Park probably since the Christmas Bird Count in December. I did not feel like dealing with what I knew would be the steep, icy, treacherous path up through the Clove. Yesterday, however, with the equinox in the evening marking the official arrival of spring, I decided it was time to give it a try. I hoped the recent warm weather and rains would have cleared the road. as the photo below shows, the road still had considerable ice and snow cover.

Lower portion of the Clove, March 20.                                                                © Joseph DiCostanzo
The walking wasn't too bad, but there were patches of glare ice. I went up past the glacial potholes in the upper portion of the Clove to see if the Snowdrops were in bloom yet. Last year on this date there were considerable patches of them. This year there are only a few out so far.

Snowdrops, March 20, Inwood Hill Park.                                                                © Joseph DiCostanzo
Snowdrops, March 20, Inwood Hill Park                                                                                                 © Joseph DiCostanzo
While I photographed the Snowdrops, the snowflakes started coming down. Winter was not finished with us yet. Actually since the equinox was not until 6:45 pm EDT, it was still officially winter. What we all hope was the last significant snowfall of the season lasted until well past the official start of spring. I don't know what the official snowfall was for the city, but here in "upstate" Manhattan, this morning it looked as if it was probably two to three inches. 

Also yesterday morning, Ann spotted a Common Grackle flying by our apartment window - the first we have seen here this spring - and the first time in years Ann has managed to spot one ahead of me.

I can't wait for more signs of spring actually take hold. On the meantime, as a farewell to winter below is a shot from our apartment winter taken on March 6 on what I thought would be the final full embrace of winter in the area.

Looking out over Muscota Marsh, March 6, 2015.                                                                        © Joseph DiCostanzo

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