Monday, April 16, 2007

Can I say "Is it Spring yet?"

Are you still recovering from the latest round of winter\spring weather? Monday evening, April 9th, I had a group of the local deer population visit my backyard while some of the local neighbor ladies were here for a visit. They marveled at how close they, the deer, had come to the house. Things I take for granted. All the deer, young and old, need a good dose of the fresh spring green grasses that will boost their nitrogen. The winter has put a strain on food sources; weight loss is evident. Wednesday, April 11th, Iowa was among several states getting another covering of snow. Maybe not the higher amounts seen in Minnesota eastward; still enough to cover the ground with several inches in the central section to 5" and above up at our northern border. Before going to bed Wednesday night, we checked out the shadows lurking outside our sliding glass doors, several deer were scratching away the snow in my flowerbed. The daffodils are missing top foliage which had been damaged by lower than normal temperatures. Glad somebody was able to enjoy them -- one way or another ; ) Thursday, April 12th, snapped a picture of our melting snow with animal tracks before they disappeared with rising temperatures. The sun came out from behind the clouds... The sun promises to warm up this little section of Iowa today. I know it will work on doing the same for you. Later!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Wild Honey Bees Waking Up

How are things going for you this fine first week of April? Today it appears the weather will be wonderful. The change is coming later today, back down to the more typical temperatures for this time of year, maybe a little cooler than normal. Last week I didn't stop in for a chat because the outdoors was calling...Working on getting fallen wood from our ice storms of February moved out of the way for the farmer who rents our ground. The hay baler may not function properly with limbs in its path. The yard looks better without the extra twigs etc. Amazingly after picking up underneath two trees I filled a quarter of the bed of a long box ,full sized, Ford pickup. It has been fun to see the animals enjoying the changes of the season. The wild honeybees are out looking around for some nourishment. They come to investigate when I am out working around the house. They live in a tree, in a hollow part, not far away. Seven years ago this May we experienced an awesome sight. Apparently the hive was getting to big to support itself. We watched the bees gather on the side of the birdbath. Later the Queen led the way of a large contingent away into the timber. After watching that event I looked for the new home that I expected them to make. What I found was lost bees, they were lifeless only a few days later, clinging to plants or foliage within line of sight. Since the mass movement seven years ago we haven't witnessed anything of that magnitude. In the summer we do treat the bees with respect. When it is hot and dry they do become more agitated in the heat of the day so we mow around their tree in the cool of the day - either in the morning, or late afternoon. We are looking for the Hummingbirds and Orioles to return very soon. A whole list of other birds have come back to be apart of the woodland and open ground population. Last week there were some wood ducks making their presence known. What a joy to see the "New Beginnings" for another year...