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Tag Archives: Pussy Willows

Walking through the Hoffman Hills Wetlands we found that most of the Pussy Willows were past peak.

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A pair of Canada Geese have started nesting on one of the ponds.

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The frogs are out in great numbers and making a lot of noise.

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More spring photographs from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.

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The Pussy Willows at Hoffman Hills have been blooming for a couple of weeks now. On our last visit we found they were in all stages of bloom.Pussy-Willows-14-4-_1365

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It’s a little difficult to believe its spring given that the snow is still a foot deep on some of the trails and very icy on other parts of the trails. This is what it looked like two years ago on April 1st.

Weeping Willows

Weeping Willows

 

We noticed that the Pussy Willows were starting to bloom in the wetlands. This was something we hadn’t expected to see given the winter like weather.Pussy-Willows-12-3-_0917

 

There were also some Canada Geese on one of the ponds. We hope they nest this year. Last year was the first time in many years that no geese nested in the wetland ponds.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

 

More Spring Photos from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.

It’s been an unusual spring for photography at Hoffman Hills. Over a foot of snow the first week in May slowed things down. This past week we have had rain every day. In between I was able to get out and take a few photographs.

The Canada Geese were finally able to start nesting on the first pond. One of the signs of spring is the return of the Canada Geese to nest at Hoffman Hills. The late start makes me think the second week of June the hatch will occur.

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Hoffman Hills is generally where I photograph Pussy Willows. This year between the snow storms and the sudden onslaught of warm weather the Pussy Willows were here and gone before I had much of a chance to photograph them.

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The Tree Swallows and the Eastern Bluebirds are fighting over housing out in the prairie area. This year the tree swallows seemed to have the upper hand although this bluebird was defending its chosen house.

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Things are finally starting to ramp up at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area. We were out last week and saw very few birds, the ponds were covered in ice and the Pussy Willows were just thinking about blooming. Things are way behind where they were last year. Last year the trees were budding, the birds were nesting and the first of the spring flowers were out. Last year was abnormal this year appears to be a bit behind normal.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Yesterday we visited again and there was quite a bit of activity. A pair of Canada Geese have returned to claim their nesting area. At the end of last year there was almost no water in the first pond. Things have improved a bit but the pond needs quite a bit more water. The pond is still covered in ice and snow but the geese had found about a three foot section that was slushy water. We noticed on the pond where one of the geese had landed when it flew in. there was a long skid mark where it slid across the ice before coming to a stop.

 

Skid Marks

Skid Marks

 

The Pussy Willows are showing more blooms now although they are probably more than a week away given the weather we are expecting.

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We heard Sandhill Cranes calling, saw a Bald Eagle and saw about a half dozen Eastern Bluebirds. For the most part the Prairie is covered with snow. There were lots of American Robbins around. We also noticed three students working on some kind of film. Lots of running but I have no idea what the film was about.

 

American Robin

American Robin

More spring photos from Hoffman Hills Recreation Area can be found on my website.

Spring is starting at Hoffman Hills. There are an increasing number of birds in the wetlands area. In the past week I’ve seen bluebirds, cardinals, geese, ducks, hawks and a number of songbirds.

I was happy to see that the two geese that nest in the first of the two ponds in the wetlands area have returned and are now on the nest. The young should be hatching by the end of April. The nest is located on a small island in the first pond. One of them is usually on the nest and the other in the water.

I also saw a Muskrat in the first pond. He was along the shore and headed for the water when I approached. He also went out to the island in the pond.

The water levels in the ponds are the lowest I’ve seen them for this time of year.

The pussy willows are in full bloom throughout the wetlands areas although some of them are already past their peak.

The warm weather this week should really bring out the buds in the trees. You should be able to see some nice spring colors from the tower. I almost prefer the colors of spring to those of the fall.

More photos of Hoffman Hills.