Ranger Charles Bray
April 10, 2013
Has Spring Sprung?
The Canada Geese have paired up, a few bugs are buzzing, and the Spring peepers are singing so is spring afoot? As I check in with the weather man, I’m not so sure. The week started off with beautiful Blue bird weather, highs in the mid 70’s. Then some welcome spring rain to ease the drought, but wait, by mid-week the wind switched and blew out of the northwest and temps dropped. On Monday we dug out our short sleeve shirts and buried the winter blues, once again Mother Nature chuckles at us. By Wednesday we have once again donned our heavy coat and stocking hat. Now some Iowans are preparing for precipitation in the form of snow. So how do we know when spring is upon us? I say there are 2 surefire methods. One is to go by the calendar, March 20th of course. The second is equally simple, when you mow your yard and shovel snow from your side walk in the same week it’s spring!
Let’s shed some light on the subject.
If you pay close attention to the animals around us they don’t seem to be so hung up on the temperature to decide when the season is changing. Most of the wildlife will begin their spring pattern based on photoperiod. Photoperiod is the recurring cycle of light and dark in a 24 period. As spring inches closer there is more light in a 24 hour photoperiod. This change in photoperiod is what causes spring to spring and trigger changes many plants and animals. This is what triggers the migration patterns in many species of birds. This is why the male (Tom) Wild Turkey struts with his tail fanned, more hours of daylight have instinctively told him it’s time to mate. Birds are constructing nests, the grass is greening up, trees are budding, and Woodchucks are awake and not necessarily because the temperatures have risen, but because the amount of daylight in a 24 hour period is increasing.
Spring has always been my favorite time of the year, to me it’s rejuvenating and it lifts the soul. I encourage you to spend some time outdoors regardless of temperature. Spring is a short lived so put on a coat or sunscreen, whatever the conditions call for and enjoy the outdoors!
March 28, 2013
I am excited to be the latest team member at Johnson County Conservation. As of March 25, 2013 I will be filling the roll of Ranger I. I am looking forward to kicking off the 2013 camping season here in beautiful F.W. Kent Park.
Before Johnson County Conservation I spent 10 years with Wright County Conservation as a Naturalist and Park Ranger. I bring to Johnson County my wife Jenann and 4 year old son Bo. My family and I enjoy taking in the outdoors just about any way we can. During the fall “date night” for Jenann and I is commonly spent 15 ft. up in a tree deer hunting. One of the things I cherish most is when I see Bo discover, explore, and have fun outside.
I was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri but my heart and mind were always in the hardwoods and creek bottoms which is where I could be found most any weekend. Besides the outdoors I enjoy interacting with people so being a Park Ranger sure seems to be that perfect career. I look forward to working with the great folks of Johnson County and calling F.W Kent Park my home.