March 2009 was a big disappointment to me. That brief mild spell we had at the very beginning of the year raised great expectations; March dampened most of them. Not only was the month cold, it was also dry and windy. There was a bit of rain towards the end of the month, and last week we had several days of slow, gentle rain which gave the garden a good soaking - and brought on a surge of growth.
Spring peepers have been in chorus now and then since March 8. Last weekend Wayne and I stopped by the local "peeper central" to check out the action. The peepers were singing in their hundreds, maybe thousands. Through the din of the peepers we could also make out chorus frogs and wood frogs. Today I heard toads calling, too.
It puzzled me that there have been no toads at the waterlily pool in the garden. Today I found out why: as I approached the pool today I heard a loud splash, the sort of noise turtles sometimes make. I didn't see anything - then. I decided to sit and watch. Several minutes passed and then suddenly, so suddenly it startled me, a muddy brown cylinder nearly as thick as my forearm shot up to the surface of the water, grabbed a quick breath, and just as suddenly disappeared. It was a snapping turtle, evidently not a small one. That no doubt explains the disappearance of most of the fifty gold fish I put into the pool last summer. Yesterday I noticed some small gray feathers floating on the pool surface.
So March this year came in like a polar bear and went out like a snapping turtle.