By Matt Babbitt, Director of Abbott’s Mill Nature Center:
As Mother Nature ushers in the warmth and rain of spring, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the winter here at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center.
This year’s winter held a tight grip on southern Delaware, bringing a few feet of snow, and steady dose of cold, crisp air. Despite the Old Man’s best efforts though, we had several visitors that helped ease the freeze. Abbott’s Pond was frozen until early March, but hosted quite a large flock of Ring-necked Ducks diving for vegetation to prepare them for the migration to their northern mating grounds.
There was a Red Shouldered Hawk that kept constant watch over the forest surrounding Johnson’s Branch.
Even the trees and plants, barren of leaves and succumbed to winter’s cold blow, were able to share their beauty.
Our giant 5 in 1 Tulip Poplar stretches for the heavens, gleaning the day’s fading rays of sun.
One of our first signs that spring was on its way was the little purple and green heads of Skunk Cabbage popping up through the snow, literally and figuratively melting the snow away.
Lastly, this year’s winter also brought a new Manager to Abbott’s Mill Nature Center. Matt Babbitt joined us in December 2014 and brings with him a passion of teaching and exploring by way of Virginia, California, New York, the islands of Chesapeake Bay, and most recently, Washington, DC. Now that Old Man Winter’s grip has finally loosened, we invite you to come visit us at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center and explore our 500 acres of forest, swamp, meadow, pond, stream, and wetland ecosystems. The wonders of spring wait for your arrival!