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Progress of Spring - March 20

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Welcome Spring!

If you ask me when Spring starts, I have rather a lot of answers. Spring is my favorite season, and I like to celebrate its beginning as many times as possible! March 1, on the assumption that Spring is approximately March-MayMarch 8, when we spring forward our clocksMarch 19, vernal equinox when the length of day and night are (approximately) equal But ultimately, Spring arrives for me when I find the first wildflowers in bloom. And since I have now found three species blooming in Framingham MA, it is absolutely Spring!
March 4, Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) one of the earliest (non-native) mustards:
Again March 4th I also saw Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) peeking open:
It is the first native spring wildflower to bloom. One was even leafing out, to my surprise:
And today, March 10, there was another (non-native) vernal mustard, Common Whitlowgrass (Draba verna), growing in the cracks of an abandoned parking lot!
Such tiny rays of sunshine <3 They're so …

2019 Naturalist Highlights

I intended to spend as much of the 2019 field season as possible in Vermont exploring calcareous habitats and bogs for their unique flora. That changed in March when I bought land and refocused on observing that place deeply through the seasons. It was incredibly rewarding! I did manage a couple interesting side trips and some volunteering. 
Bought 6 acres of forest in NH & began a biological survey Found a new (to me) ephemeral: Squirrel Corn Completed three plant conservation volunteering surveys & located all three populationsFound two new (to me) orchid species: Yellow Coralroot and Broad-lipped TwaybladeRe-found a rare orchid hybrid Platanthera x keenanii I unknowningly found years agoFound an odd mutant orchidSubmitted records of four other observations the state might be interested in to VPRSCo-lead my first official nature walks with Earthwise Aware in September and NovemberMade and uploaded 1954 new observations to iNaturalist, for an all-time total of 3008665 species

2019 Survey Results

I set out to survey the flowering plants of my recently-purchased land, which almost immediately expanded to an informal general life survey. I used the incredible tool iNaturalist to track observations. My iNat project is "A Land Like This One". Thank you to Nathaniel for his contributions and company.

Statistics
This data was collected over approximately 20 visits from March through December, averaging perhaps 3 hours of active search/exploration time per visit. At the time of writing this...
653 observations351 research grade* observations238 taxa140 research grade species95 research grade plant species80 research grade flowering plant species The numbers are strongly skewed by sampling bias and my areas of interest/knowledge:
I am most familiar with herbaceous flowering plants. (63% of flowering plant observations are research-grade vs 33% of insects and 7% of fungi)I know little of protozoans, grasses, non-vascular plants, and birds and largely ignored them. I visited mos…

The Many Forms of Freeze

The Season of Looking Closely

Brook Song in November

Thanks to Nathaniel for taking this video while hunting on my land in November