Signs of Spring

I began to notice the song birds becoming more active in the past two weeks. It was still the middle of February, so I thought the birds were simply enjoying a warm break in the weather. Then, I saw a patch of daffodils in full bloom in a neighbor’s yard. This was followed by pinkish blooms appearing on our ornamental plum tree. Could it be? The first signs of spring!

There is a tall willow tree that stands by the side of the road. I’ve come to think of it as a welcoming friend. It greets me during the seven mile trip back and forth to town. The drooping branches come into full view just as I make that last three-mile leg of the journey toward home. It is the first to drop its leaves in the fall, and the first to awaken from winter’s slumber several weeks before the other deciduous trees. When I drove past this week and saw the new, green shoots already bursting forth, that’s when I knew it was true. Spring is on its way!

The mornings have been damp and foggy, but comfortably warm. I took a walk around the yard on Saturday morning around 7:00 am and made this 3-minute video clip to share it with you. In the video, I have chosen not to speak so that you can hear the morning sounds. You will hear my feet walking on gravel, and if you turn up the volume, you will hear the bird songs. It’s the most beautiful music there is.

Click on the image to view the video.
Morning Walk in North Georgia

Flying Squirrels

Another telltale sign of spring is the arrival of a family of flying squirrels. They like to nest in our roof vent which is the one foot space between the ceiling and the roof. One year, we were inundated with many of these creatures. They gave birth to litters of kits. We could hear the scurrying around above our heads when we laid in bed at night. We cut a hole in the side of a porch overhang and used a live trap to remove as many as we could. In just a couple of weeks, the total came to more than two dozen!

The unfortunate thing we learned is that it is important to choose the timing for setting the live traps. If the parents are trapped while the babies are still in the nest, the babies will die and leave a mess. After learning this lesson the hard way — and sadly so — we now trap them very early in the springĀ  before the babies are born and again late in the summer after the babies are grown. The live traps allow us to capture the flying squirrels one at a time and release them into the national forest where they can live happily far from human habitation. We try to be as humane as possible, but there is no question they have to be removed. They can do a lot of damage to a house, and they populate quickly — like rabbits!

Flying squirrels are nocturnal and usually more active at night. They travel by jumping and “flying” from tree to tree. They are smaller than the more common gray squirrel, and their eyes are very large and dark to allow them to see better at night. The photo below shows an adult flying squirrel that we recently captured. You can see how small it is.

Flying squirrel


“Signs” of Spring

The warmer weather has had me busy in the workshop creating a few of my own “signs of spring.” Get it? Signs? Spring? {I know, you’re probably doing a face palm right about now.} Click HERE to view the item listings in my ETSY shop.

Until next time! ~ Susan

All photos appearing in this blog post are taken
by S.R. Williams. Copyright 2018.

About S.R. Williams

S.R. Williams is an artist and writer who lives in a cabin in the northeast Georgia mountains where she is inspired with joy and inspiration by the natural beauty of the surroundings

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