Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Finally settling in? #phenology

It appears that our local water bodies are now ice free. The Sunrise River pools in Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area have mallards, shovelers, blue-winged teal, and Canada geese floating in view of County Highway 36. Although I still haven't seen any sandhill cranes this year, the Better Half keeps telling me she hears and sees them.

no vernal pools here
no vernal pools here
Photo by J. Harrington

Later this week rain should help the vernal pools that frogs so depend on at this time of year. Our "wet spot," behind the house, that was dry last week, holds a little water today. Some more would be better to help tadpoles survive and morph.

male goldfinch, early Spring 2016
male goldfinch, early Spring 2016
Photo by J. Harrington

At least some male goldfinch(es) have turned bright yellow over the past few days. I noticed him/them while watching a red squirrel yesterday afternoon. He or she completely demoralized me and shattered my schemes for keeping squirrels from the tray feeder. The gray squirrels have been climbing the support-hanging pole for the tray feeder. Covering the outside with sticky tape would probably solve that problem, based on past experience. Then, I watched while a red squirrel leaped from the deck railing into the tray feeder. Short of putting fly paper all over the deck railing, which will undoubtedly present other problems when the Better Half starts to grill, I'm not sure how to keep that red squirrel from setting an example for others to follow. Sigh!

If it weren't for the nasty craziness, or is that crazy nastiness, going on these days in Washington, D.C. and St. Paul, MN, and the creativity of squirrels, I could start to get downright cheery about our warm sunshiny weather. Maybe I'll just ignore squirrels and nuts for a while and enjoy today while we have it. After all, yesterday was the first time this year the dog walking took place without the dog walker wearing a coat.

Assault



I had forgotten how the frogs must sound
After a year of silence, else I think
I should not so have ventured forth alone
At dusk upon this unfrequented road.

I am waylaid by Beauty. Who will walk
Between me and the crying of the frogs?
Oh, savage Beauty, suffer me to pass,
That am a timid woman, on her way
From one house to another!

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