Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fleeting summer

Can you believe it is nearly the 4th of July??!! The prairie is in "exploding" with color at this time of year. We have several acres of pale purple coneflowers and a large field of purple prairie clover in bloom. They are breathtaking. We have given lots of tours the last couple weeks for people who want the take advantage of some rare scenery and wonderful photo opportunities. The Bobolinks are eager to perform every time we take someone to the pasture to see them. They love to show off and sing their beautiful song. It is hard to believe they will be packing up their "brood" and going to Argentina in a few short weeks. They leave late July or early August for their long flight south. The red winged blackbirds are plentiful as well as many other ground nesting species, but we have a special place in our hearts for the Bobolinks. A young woman from Maryland said they looked like flying skunks, I guess she is not the only one, after talking to seasoned "birders".
We have been keeping our crew busy pulling thistles and harvesting wetland seed, Dudley rush and Manna grass this week--we'll see what is ready next week. Have a happy and safe 4th.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Much needed rain-

After a long dry spell, we have received some much needed rain. The flowers in the prairie are starting to bloom and in a week it should be "drop dead" gorgeous!! We have a meadow that is full of pale purple cone flowers and butterfly milkweed--a beautiful combination, as well as other plantings that have been blooming for a while, and will continue until a hard frost. The rain should help keep the flowers blooming for a while. Last year there was no rain and the blooms faded quickly. Thanks to the rain, we were able to attend the wedding of our "intern" from last year, in WI. A rainy drive, but at least we were not thinking of all the work we could have been doing at home if it were a bright sunny day. The wedding was lovely and the weather was nearly perfect, not too hot, so everyone stayed cool. Menominee is a lovely town on a large river with many old and unique buildings in the downtown area. A typical college town atmosphere. We had to leave early Sunday morning to get home and celebrate one of our granddaughter's birthday on Sunday afternoon. This trip was easy for us, thanks to "Bing" directions, we did not get lost once and navigated Mpls/St. Paul without a problem. For us, printed directions, both ways-- are as important as a credit card--don't leave home without them :)) Looks like more rain is on the way--wish we could save some for a couple weeks.
More later-Bev

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Busy Spring

Wow, where does the time go. It has been a while since I have had time to write on my blog. Our two oldest grandchildren graduated from high school the past 2 weeks and our business has kept us very busy--that is a good thing! The greenhouses are loaded with plants, the prairie is blooming in yellow and purple and the grass is growing--on the prairie and in the house yard!
We spotted an eagle on the osprey nest a couple weeks ago and thought the osprey was gone for the season--but today his is BACK!! I certainly do not know what that means for the future but at least he has returned, if only for a few days. We know he has not forgotten us.
It seems as though summer has arrived, so we bought an air conditioner for the cabin, much to
Dwight's dismay. He thinks summer is ruined by air conditioning, he loves HOT and HUMID :(
There are usually only a couple days of the year he considers "summer". Anyway, our guests will be comfortable, and that is what is important.
Some of our children used the canoe yesterday to paddle the Little Sioux River, they were scraping the bottom in many places and our canoe is a very wide bottom. It seems nearly impossible with all the snow we had, that the river should be so low this early in the season--usually the 4th of July is getting "iffy" for canoes and by August last year the river was just a small stream. We are very dry and need a good rain, maybe this weekend, it is usually rainy on Memorial Day. I will try to do better with the blogging. Enjoy your holiday weekend. Bev

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

June in April, April in May !!??

We got very spoiled with the "Junelike" weather of April, now that it has turned cold and rainy in May, we are not liking it. Most farmers in our area planted corn the middle of April, (will we never learn,) on Sunday night we received a frost that turned the corn that was "up", black.
It did not kill it, but it has to start over--luckily most of the beans have not emerged, they should be fine. A frost would kill the beans!!
Yesterday we had a bald eagle eating breakfast on one of our towers and we saw a bobolink scout on Thursday. The weather has been too cold and wet for us to be out and about on our Rangers in the pasture, it sounds like the weekend will be warmer. A welcome change. We are anxious to get out and explore what is blooming, see the wildlife and grass nesting birds. We started the season with being ahead of schedule for seeding, but haven't been able to work for several days now. We have two grandchildren graduating this weekend so it is just as well it is too wet to work, no disappointed customers or family that way!! Keeping everyone happy is a difficult task :)
I have been lax about blogging the last couple weeks, but will try and do better from now on.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 21 and the osprey is still here

This early and delightful spring has made working outside a must! We have an unusually large amount of seeding done for this early in the year. We spent last Saturday at an Earth Day celebration, but the weather was beautiful so most people must have stayed home and worked in the yard or just relaxed outside. Attendance was very poor. :(
As of this morning, day 21, the osprey is still on the nest. Last week, Dwight observed him carrying a stick and rearranging his nest. I am not sure what to expect, but every day that he stays around, we are encouraged that at some point, maybe next year, he will bring a mate and raise a family on one of our towers.
Yesterday evening when Dwight was running his dog, he saw two Black crowned night herons.
The first we have seen this season. They are annual visitors to our wetland. I don't know if you notice, but the birds are very loud in the early mornings these days. I am awakened by their songs about 5:30 daily. I guess that's what it means to "get up with the birds!"
The pasque flowers have finished their bloom and the prairie smoke, sometimes called "old man's whiskers", is in full bud and about to bloom. The marsh marigolds are blooming and have been for at least a week--this is about 3-4 weeks earlier than normal --for here.
Enjoy this gift of spring, it's a great one! until next time, Bev

Sunday, April 18, 2010

8 days and counting

We were just out to check on the osprey and he/she was perched on the edge of the nest, standing proud and looking around. We stay well back and watch with a spotting scope.
We could see today that there is, what we think, a nest on top of the branches that Dwight
secured on the platform when we put it up the pole a few years ago. Last evening we were looking at the nest and the bird was lying down and could hardly be seen. We don't know what to expect, but we are SO excited that the osprey is still here and seems to have claimed the nest.
I'll keep you updated.
Have a great day-

Friday, April 16, 2010

Osprey in flight

Here are a couple pictures of the osprey with a fish in his grasp--look closely. Now that I know how to do this, thanks to a great computer whiz, I hope to post more.