In the original Jurassic Park movie, Dr. Malcom said the infamous line “life, uh, finds a way.” So is the case for the spring of 2020! Deep Portage has seen only trace amounts of rain since the snow melted in early April. The 3.2 mile driveway has been very dusty, and the water levels in our vernal ponds are at late summer time levels. Even morel mushrooms have been a hard find!
Even with the lack of moisture our forest is green and lush with new spring plants! Spring wildflowers are in full swing. Flowers such as hepatica, wood anemone, violet, bellwort, and wild strawberry are easy finds along our trails. Our wildflower garden at the start of the tar trail has blooming trillium (also blooming along the driveway), bloodroot, and wild ginger.
Purple hepatica poking up through last year's dead leaves.
With the dry and warm weather we have noticed a quick migration of warbling bird species. Species that are common and numerous visitors around Bass Pond every spring like Blackpoll warbler, Cape May warbler, Canada warbler, and Magnolia warbler have been very rare to find. Most years during peak migration, a birder can spot a dozen or more species around Bass Pond but this year it has been hard to get above ten. As of May 23, Bass Pond did have a very healthy population of common yellowthroat, chestnut-sided warbler, American redstart, golden-winged warbler and a few more common warblers singing on territory. An uncommon northern parula was also sighted! Deep Portage Learning Center is a birding hotspot on eBird, check it out!
The buildings remain closed due to COVID-19 but our trails are still open to use, so please come out for a hike and explore! Bring the bug spray and long clothing because the ticks are out and the mosquitos have hatched!