Plants are beginning to sprout defying the up and down temperatures of an Ozark spring. At ShawneeMac Conservation Area the main attractions are the Canada geese.
I hadn’t walked the trail there in months. The trees are still bare. The grass is thinking about growing.
The mowed area had lots of early saxifrage blooming. These plants were only four inches tall, but trying to set seed before the mowers start arriving.
The honeysuckle was leafing out. The burning bush buds were swelling. These invasives are easy to spot along the trail.
The American holly was easy to spot as well. It’s the dark green plant scattered here and there off the trail. I am hoping to catch it in bloom this year which is challenging as it blooms for only a few days each spring.
The honks of Canada geese kept me company during my hike. There were a couple of dozen birds in various groups around the upper lake. A couple swam by watching me watch them. Cameras are so interesting.
Much of the time the geese were behind lake edge vegetation and hard to spot. That changed when I got back to the parking area where I had left my truck.
A half dozen Canada geese had taken over a small point of land extending into the lake. Evidently it had one big male and several females. I really can’t tell the difference however another loudly honking goose started swimming over. The biggest goose in the group attacked and drove the interloper away.
Other geese swam, took baths, walked around in other areas and generally took over the lake shore. Some will be staying over the summer. Others move on to other lakes and ponds in the area or go farther north. The next Canada geese arrivals will be their goslings in late spring.
Read more about nature in the Ozarks in “Exploring the Ozark Hills“.