Friday was the first day of spring! With a busy of weekend of spring chores I couldn’t post until now, but I certainly couldn’t let it pass unnoticed either.

Beaver practicing?

Beaver practicing?

Obviously the onset of spring is an exciting time for us at the Watershed Association. (Although, I have to admit I’m a little sad to see the slopes up north turning brown and green. Still a few more weeks left though). Although winter’s grip has been slow to release this year I’ve still started to see the signs slowly emerging. Out in the bay I’ve started seeing spider crabs and horseshoe crabs moving around a lot more. I’ve also picked up a few flounder while working the oyster beds in the past 2 weeks. On the river, almost all of the snow is finally gone. Flows are high as the ground and surfaces releases all of the ice they’ve been holding. In my yard, the crocus and even a few forsythia are blooming. In the woods the vernal pools are full and ready for the ‘big night’. Speaking of which, don’t forget to stop by for Jess Tenzar’s vernal pool talk this Thursday at 7:00 PM.

Of course, this is all just the slow start of things to come. Spring has an accelerating trajectory and in no time everything will be in full swing. Of course one of the highlights for us will be the herring run. The river herring, smelt, and other fish are already on their way and will start showing up in the river in the next few weeks. We will see them congregating at the bottom of the Elm St Dam. Then, when the water temperature is just right, they will all start racing up the ladder. You can help us capture the details of this critical ecological event by getting involved in our herring count. It’s a great way to get personally in tune with the natural cycles of the river while generating important data on the health of this species.