On the promise of a rainy day in March

April showers bring May flowers. A rainy, dreary day seems to make the new stresses of life even a little tougher. But, today is the first day of spring! Tomorrow the daylight will be a little longer than today. Yes, despite the local weather, today our whole hemisphere is literally beginning to tilt toward the sunny side.

A spotted salamander in the Mattapoisett River Reserve

The “elusive, although not uncommon, spotted salamander,” seen at Tinkhamtown Woodlands.

The rain that is falling is shedding into pools in the forest and into our streams. This raises the rivers to what we call “spring flows.” Sara Quintal, the Coalition’s restoration ecologist, has to push against the “spring flows” in the Weweantic River to monitor the restoration work at Horseshoe Mill in Wareham. Tony Williams, the director of monitoring programs, works against the “spring flows” installing fish counters. These flows spill out into Buzzards Bay sending a signal of spring. And the Bay responds. The water combined with warming temperature and the longer days is triggering the awakening.

The first day of spring is not just another day on the calendar. Life is refreshing in the Bay and the watershed. Senior Attorney Korrin Petersen texted a video of herring she saw on the way home from work with a simple message: “There are SO many!” Smelling the spring flows shedding into the Bay, the schooling herring begin to run up our rivers.

Out on a walk in the woods, the quacking of the wood frogs and the peeping of the spring peepers was almost deafening. Land Stewardship Assistant Mead Binhammer reported bullfrogs and pickerel frogs contributing to that chorus in the Mattapoisett River Reserve. Mead also sent a photo of the elusive, although not uncommon, spotted salamander. A big, bright yellow-spotted beauty of the Buzzards Bay watershed. The salamanders and all those frogs, like the herring, are prompted by the signals of spring and moving with the shedding water. The herring find their way to spawn in the streams and ponds. The salamanders and frogs find their way to the temporary vernal pools in the forest, away from the fish who threaten to eat up their eggs. Look into these waters and you may catch a glimpse of one of these creatures … doing, like us, what they have to do. Soon you may see egg masses and then the hatching tadpoles.

So if the showers feel dreary, think of all the work that shedding water is doing in the watershed to keep everything moving toward spring time.

And maybe the flowers will come a little early, too.

Category: On the Land

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Current Issues

Restoring Streams & Wetlands

The Coalition is working to restore damaged streams and wetlands in places like the Acushnet River, the Weweantic River, and the Mattapoisett River to protect clean water and improve the health of the Bay ecosystem so fish, wildlife, and people can thrive.

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Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: