By Mike Weilbacher, Executive Director
There are so many signs of spring. Here at the Schuylkill Center, skunk cabbage and lesser celandine, the latter a bright yellow flower, are already in bloom. A pair of bluebirds, the male an impossible shade of blue, examined nesting boxes last week, clearly house hunting, and a pair of Canada geese returned to Fire Pond, likely the same pair that raise their young here every spring.
The running of the toads across Port Royal Avenue is another benchmark here in Roxborough, but the toads have not awakened yet. Fear not: they are coming soon!
But over at our Wildlife Clinic down Port Royal Avenue, there’s a whole different sign of spring. In last week’s monsoon, that weirdly warm storm with lightning and thunder (in February!), a pair of baby squirrels, brother and sister, must have gotten knocked out of their nest in the wind, and a good Samaritan brought them to the clinic for the facility’s special TLC.
They were the first baby squirrels of 2016.
Thus, Rick Schubert, the clinic’s gifted director of rehabilitation, was able to pick a volunteer to win the year’s “No Prize,” the annual lottery for predicting when the first baby squirrel comes to the clinic. And yes, there is “no prize” for winning—just the thrill of victory.
When I visited the clinic last week, Rick was planning on bringing the babies home with him that night after work, as these newborns, eyes not yet open, fur not yet grown in, need constant, round-the-clock feeding. Continue reading