It’s hard not to have a smile on your face all day long when you hear the Northern Parula song. One or two Northern Parula’s have been in the Nature Station forest for the past couple of weeks. I am often out of town at this time of year and there is nothing better than returning to work to hear this lovely song, it lets me know that spring is here. But today, the you cannot walk anywhere in the forest without hearing that ascending trill. The bird itself is usually rather hard to see, up in the treetops, but you know it’s there. I remember the first time I saw one, I didn’t know what it was at first because I had no frame of reference other than the song. If you are lucky enough to hear the song, search out the bird because it is just as lovely as its song.
This little bird is not the only indication of spring, there are wildflowers blooming everywhere. Some of my favorite are spiderwort, bayou violets, and wood sorrel, not just for their beauty but because they are all edible. Yes, they are great in salads. The deciduous trees are leafing out and the many hues of light green are limitless. The juxtaposition of these light greens against the darker evergreens, lends itself to excellent photographs. Being able to see this on a daily basis, watching everything bloom and move and grow is rather magical, and it’s only the beginning of this transition. During the next month there will be many changes and many opportunities to watch all of this movement.
I have copied a couple of links below so that you can learn more about the Northern Parula. Don’t forget to listen to their song, commit it to memory so you too can enjoy your walk through a south Louisiana forest as much as I do, with a smile on your face.
Stacey Leah Scarce,
President, Acadiana Master Naturalists