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Premature Spring in Evidence at Cranberry Lake

NORTH WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Saturday’s rain forced cancellation of the Cranberry Lake Preserve Vernal Pool Investigation event, which would have uncovered evidence of this year’s premature spring.

“Everything happened so much earlier this year. We’ve seen flowers and birds appear, and the salamanders were three weeks ahead of schedule,” said Taro Ietaka, the Westchester County Parks curator who hosts events at Cranberry Lake Preserve.

Ietaka had planned to take children and their families to the two pools near the Nature Lodge to hunt for larval salamanders, frog tadpoles, adult salamanders and frogs, and aquatic insects.

“Now the salamanders are done mating, their eggs are in the water, and the adults have moved out," Ietaka said. "In years past they’d just be arriving. When we scheduled the program in November, we had no idea they’d be so advanced this spring.”

Saturday’s event may have been canceled, but spring has just sprung, and Ietaka plans to lead events the next two Saturdays.

On April 7, Seed Starting will teach children how to garden. “We’ll provide seeds and planting material and talk about how to trick seeds into sprouting,” Ietaka said. “We’ll decorate pots to start the seeds and teach kids how to transplant them into their own gardens.”

Spring Wildflowers is scheduled for April 14. “We’ll take a walk and see the flowers that appear before the trees have leaves,” he said. “We’ll look at Dutchman breeches, skunk cabbage, anemone and hepatica. We’ll talk about wildflowers and how they’re pollinated and what they might be used for medicinally.”

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