Today I took Miah to record data on salamander egg masses in Cades Cove. We went with a more experienced volunteer. My favorite part was watching Miah being her mature, confident self, so different than I was at her age.
There were 201 egg masses in the first pond, all at various stages of development. We also saw a pileated woodpecker, wood ducks, red-shouldered hawk, a wren, and a bird we weren't able to identify. A white-tailed deer ambled right past us.
When we were done at the ponds and had eaten our sack lunch, we learned how to record data on a phenology plot. There was nothing going on yet plantwise, but we saw promises of soon-to-be-emerging buds and blooms. One aspect of the phenology plot is listening for birds. I don't know bird songs, but our guide pointed out the calls of robins, juncos, and a blue-headed vireo.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah was home with the other kids. Yesterday he built a fence around the garden to keep the chickens out, and today he tilled it for me. In the snow.
Soon . . .