Spring... Sprang

I've been remiss in getting new posts up so I am grouping all the best photos I've gotten so far this spring in this one post.  Spring is definitely my favorite time of the year and this year's spring is especially welcome after that long, hard winter we had.

Common Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) Non Native - 
This is the first time I've come across Snowdrops and even though they are not native to our area, they are very beautiful.  Typically one of the very first wildflowers to appear in the spring, I found this cluster down by the stream on the floodplain.

Eastern Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) - 
Eastern Skunk Cabbage is abundant in our area and is most often found along the stream in the dampest sections of the floodplain.  One of the earliest to flower in our area, its unusual flower blossoms are a deep purple with streaks of yellow.  It will get its skunky-smelling leaves that it is known for this summer.  

I am not sure what type of frog eggs I came across, but I found them in the "backwater" of Little Sewickley Creek that I've written about before.  Given the large number of eggs, I would suspect they suffer heavily from predation with only a small number making it through the tadpole stage. 

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) - 
Spring Beautys prefer rich, moist soil and I typically find them near the stream and its tributaries.  They're one of my favorite early spring wildflowers with their delicate pink and white blossoms.

Northern Two-Lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata) - 
I almost stepped on this Norther Two-Lined Salamander while walking up a small tributary of Little Sewickley Creek, but fortunately I saw him before I got too close.  This is one of my favorite pictures so far this spring; the water flowing gives a slight distortion to his appearance while the sun shine is refracted into slivers of light.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) -
I like Bloodroot; its bright white petals and yellow stamens stand out against the brown drab of the early spring forest floor.  It's named Bloodroot because Native Americans would use the roots to create a red dye.

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans) -
I'm pretty sure this is a Green Frog and not a Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), but I honestly can't be sure.  I found  him sitting in a stagnant pool along the creek after a cold night, so he seemed pretty sluggish while he waited for the sun to heat the pool.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa) -
This is my first picture of Mourning Cloak butterflies.  I just happened spot the pair sunning themselves on the leaves and was lucky enough to get a photo when the one spread its wings.  The other is in the shadows with its wings folded in an upright position.

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) -
Scarlet Tanagers are one of my favorite songbirds.  Both the males and females are a greenish-olive color throughout most of the year, except during the spring and early summer when the males take on a bright red plummage (with black wings) for mating.  The red of the Scarlet Tanager is far more intense and deeply hued than even the reddest Cardinal and they really stand out in the woods.

More Pictures:

Common Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) Non Native

Eastern Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Fig Buttercup (Ficaria verna) Non Native

Northern Two-Lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata)

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)