Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's been a while since I have been able to save a little time in my schedule for blogging. We have been enjoying the spring waterfowl very much. Dwight got a picture of a male and female bufflehead floating down the river-they are rare in these parts. At least we have not been able to get a picture before, maybe we just weren't out at the right times. When I figure out how to publish that photo, I will. We are getting into our busy season of planting many acres of prairie. We use a seeder behind a tractor for large areas and I do hand seeding in areas too small to get either of our tractors in safely.
I couldn't believe that spring was here to stay, but with the warm temperatures and the ground drying rapidly, I guess winter is over. We have been doing some burning, small patches, when the wind is "just right"--getting ready for some major burning in the near future. Now that we burn so many acres, we take precautions and make plans ahead of time, that makes me feel better about the safety of the burn. Last week there was still snow in the fence lines, that was a great firebreak and the grass was damp in places so the fire just danced along, it was enjoyable
watch.
I am on the lookout for pasque flowers. They are the first to bloom in spring and usually by Easter. I checked the nursery on Sunday and could see nothing yet. I assumed they did not make it through the winter, but a friend hasn't found any, so maybe they don't know winter is
over. I'm keeping a close eye out for them. Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter. Bev

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

This morning, on Dwight's daily "Ranger run", he discovered all the ice jams and snow from yesterday had totally disappeared and the river was running free. It was actually half way across the road by the bridge, just west of our driveway. We drove down to the bridge and took lots of pictures and saw red winged blackbirds, another sign of spring. We now have lakefront property :) It is hard to believe that last August we were driving through this same body of water on our Rangers and our feet didn't even get wet. We are used to the river going out of its bank in the spring although it has not been this high for 17 years. By mid morning, the water had started to recede on the road, so the the worst is probably over, but it will probably be weeks before the water in our pasture has gone done enough for us to roam freely again.
Dwight did not find the swans again yesterday but did get a picture of an eagle in a tree by the pond and several red winged blackbirds. They are predicting a snow/rain mix for tomorrow, maybe some signs of winter will be returning--but they can't last long now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A strange light in the sky !!

When I awoke this morning the neighbors lights were in view, which may not seem at all unusual, except we have had fog for more days than I can remember. When you can see nothing beyond your window, you feel as though you are living alone out here. Today the sun actually came out at daybreak, what a welcome sight to see this unfamiliar light in the sky.
Dwight took his Ranger and his dog, to the river this morning, which is totally overflowing into our pasture, and saw the first swans of the season. They were flying directly over his head as he drove along in the field. He brought the dog home, retrieved his camera and returned to the pasture to see if he can find where the swans might have landed. At this time of year we have literally thousands of waterfowl on our ponds, with the ice jams on the river, the ponds give them a nice place to rest.
I can't believe how fast the snow has melted without the sunshine, as I said above, Dwight was able to get to the river via his Ranger, his goal for the last week. Our normal path is still unavailable but he found an alternate route around the field. After leading a very sedantary life these past few months, we will soon have to go to work.
Can't wait for the pasque flowers, the first prairie flowers of spring, to poke there heads through the ground and bloom their subtle pale blooms-a sure sign that Easter and spring can't be too far away.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First mud,now robins!

We were driving down the road last week, a couple miles from home, when large flock of robins flew in front of the car. I know robins often are "caught" in snow storms, but to me, it was another long awaited sign of spring. We have had rain over the last few days and the snow is quickly disappearing. Things we had forgotten to put away this fall, and some permanent fixtures of our landscape, are now starting to peek out from under their frozen tomb. We have a concrete statue of a pheasant outside our door and yesterday I was startled when I came out the door and a pheasant head was poking through the snowbank. In return for the rain and warmer weather, we are experiencing dense fog most days. The frost has "gone out" in places around our yard and near the front door so the puddles are less, but looking at all the snow piles around the perimeter of the yard, it will be a long time before it is dry. I hope you are seeing signs of spring where you are--we were visiting friends and the iris were poking through on the south side of a building--a sure sign spring can't be far away.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mud everywhere, a sign of spring!

I know it is just Mother Nature teasing us, but I love this little glimpse of spring. I heard the crows in the grove this morning, the cat is lying in front of the door in the sun--which is shining brightly, and there is mud everywhere I look, it certainly feels like spring today.

Dwight has been moving the thawing snow piles from in front of doors and buildings, so at some point, in the not so distant future, we can go to work. The snow is still too deep in the fields for us to even guess when we might be able to burn or do some seeding, but the warmer weather is welcome and we plan to enjoy every minute while it lasts.

We are going to a friends tomorrow for an overnight visit. We wish it could be longer, but it is hard to find someone to take care of 2 dogs. Our son that lives nearby has been "volunteered" for the job. It seems simple enough, but he has 4 children who want to go to the school carnival and he usually gets home from work "just in time" to to get them there--which may be his plan all along--but adding dog chores to the mix will complicate his life even more. Some of this is my fault. A couple years ago I had a very "blond moment" and bought my husband a pure bred hunting dog for his birthday. I was tired of his whining about not being able to hunt because he didn't have a dog (the grass is tall here and without a dog, you can't find the birds) and if he is hunting, he is happy and my life is easier. Where ever you are, I wish you mud.