Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for July: (7/6) Jennifer J. Chow (7/13) Meri Allen/Shari Randall (Book 1--Ice Cream Shop Mystery), (7/20) Susan Van Kirk, (7/27) Meri Allen/Shari Randall (Book 2--Ice Cream Shop Mystery).

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spring Has Finally Arrived

“Spring has sprung.
The grass has ris’.
I wonder where the birdies is.”

Do you remember that little ditty from grade school? Do they even say such nonsense today? I don’t know, but I do know that Spring has finally arrived in the Northwoods. What the heck, it is June 1st. Technically, Summer is only three weeks away.

5/17/14 Notice the buds are just getting red.
Because Jan and I are migratory, we normally experience two complete comings of Spring: one in Savannah and the other in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By the time we leave Savannah, the weather is summer-like. Trees and bushes have leafed out; the first brood of baby birds are chirping to be fed; sand gnats are out in force; the frogs are mostly quiet.

Arriving in the U.P. we find that not only have leaves not appeared, buds are hardly even swollen. Black flies are not yet present. Frogs sing solos or duets, lonely precursors of the chorus to come.

Most mornings I still take the chill off the house with a fire in the woodstove. Unlike late Fall and Winter, one fire is sufficient for the day. In part that is because we get so much daylight this time of year and the glass wall overlooking the lake faces west. 

When we first arrive, more than fourteen hours of daylight greets us—that’s almost an hour more than we had in Savannah. At the summer solstice we have fifteen and three-quarter hours of daylight here, an hour and a half more than Savannah experiences. With that extra daylight (and short growing seasons between the cold) plants and animals grow quickly.

This year I thought it would be interesting to photograph the growth of a red maple’s leaves. You can see the results below.



The tree has fully leafed out. At night I now fall asleep to the frog chorus (and the occasional Barred Owl hootfest). I awake to Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at their feeder. Black flies and mosquitoes have made their presence known. It is almost time for the snapping turtles to climb from the lake and dig their shallow nests to lay eggs.

5/31/14 Looking out from my desk

Yep, Spring has finally arrived.

~ Jim


E. B. Davis said...

I'm glad that spring arrived for you, Jim. It's a bit late for me. I'm starting to get my tan back--here on Hatteras Island. Beautiful weather the last week. When there is a land breeze, we get a few annoying flies on the beach. I sure don't like the sound of "black flies." Ominous biters, I presume.

Yesterday, a sea gull flew down beside me and stared and stared. I assured him I had no nacho cheese Doritos. He didn't believe me. That's what they crave. People have created an addiction in the seagulls for Doritos!

carla said...

We skipped over spring and landed in summer here in SC. LOVED your photos.

KM Rockwood said...

Wonderful pictures, Jim. We've had a late and wet spring. The differences in timing are noticable. When we go to visit relatives in West Virginia in the springtime, we feel like we are driving back in the season. Our peonies are out, but as we go up higher, we see lilacs and tulips and even daffodils, all of which are past in our area.

Warren Bull said...

I can tell it's spring here when I see baby squirrels playing tag and little bunnies who freeze and pretend they're invisible when I walk by.

Kara Cerise said...

What a gorgeous view from your desk, Jim. I have to admit that I'm slightly envious. When I look out my window I see a row of condos and the freeway.

Susan O'Brien said...

What a nice post with wonderful pictures! The comments are great, too. I love how seasons and views influence writing.

Jim Jackson said...

Hey everyone -- thanks for the comments.

Susan is right that seasons can and do influence our writing. Maybe that's a good topic for a coming blog.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Love your pictures, Jim. Spring arrived here less than a week after you left my place. The daffodils, tulips, and most other earlier spring flowers are gone now, but the rhododendrons are still beautiful and the irises are blooming as well as other early summer flowers.

As for the black flies, I just got back from a 3 day camping trip in the Allegheny Mountains and for the first time in that area we had a problem with black flies. My sister entertained me with reading a step by step the biting procedure of the tiny black fly and why they leave such long lasting evidence of their bites. We wondered if they were a recent invasion or if we'd just never camped that far north this early in the season before.

Jim Jackson said...


With spring being late in much of the country, the black flies started later and are ending later than usual. That's what's happened here.

~ Jim