Signs of Spring at Great Swamp WMA

Posted By on March 20, 2017

Signs of Spring at Great Swamp WMA

5.7 miles, South Kingstown, RI

Today was the 2017 Vernal Equinox, and I wanted so badly to welcome it in atop Lantern Hill with the Westerly Morris Men as I did last year, but I had made a quick visit to the trailhead the night before, and being a north-facing hill, it was still completely snow- and ice-covered as far as I could see. I decided that the smart thing to do would be to wait till next year.

As a consolation, I headed out later on this first day of Spring to do some snow- and ice-free hiking closer to the coast. It’s been a long time since I’ve visited this extensive Wildlife Management Area, and I’d forgotten just how big it was. I really enjoyed the long, long trail around the empoundment. The swamp was alive with ducks and geese, though I didn’t see any of the ospreys this place is best known for.

Still Not Springtime

Still Not Springtime

The weather today was on the warm-ish side, maybe mid-40s. But even here there was still not a lot of “Spring” to be found. Still, no snow and ice, so I was happy.

Alder Catkins

Alder Catkins

Ok, so further in to the swamp I did manage to find a few tentative signs of Spring. These are the male flowers of the Speckled Alder. The smaller, more upward-pointing things above them are the female flowers. Tra-la-la-la life goes on…

More Catkins!

More Catkins!

And not far from the alders, the willows were “getting it on.” Hubba, hubba.

"Comfy" Rock

“Comfy” Rock

I just loved this comfy rock, positioned as it was with a fantastic view of the swamp and the osprey nests atop the utility poles.

Track (click for details)

Track (click for details)

This New London Day article is a very good online resource if you’re interested in visiting Great Swamp. It includes a trail map. And as always, click on the image above to download my gps track.

Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: