Sunday, March 27, 2016

Interesting Morning

            The day started in fog but through the fog I observed two White-tailed Deer in our east meadow. Then, on the morning dog walk, I heard the first Eastern Towhees of the season. A few minutes later I saw three wild Tom Turkeys just off the trail. I was sorry to not get any photos of what I observed but still enjoy the memory. Sometimes the memories are more vivid than photos.

            From yesterday I have a couple more ice storm photos. Today, all the ice is gone from the trees but some trees still have a ring of ice around their bases from what fell off yesterday.

Iced Staghorn Sumac

Looking southwest from our west meadow.

            Re the Eastern Towhee, I found that Lang Elliott had posted excellent photos with sounds on his YouTube channel.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Not So Springy Today

            Spring comes and goes lately. The winter weather was crazy with high and low temperature records being set within a few days during February and now, after spring flowers are already blooming, we have an ice storm.  Our east porch was iced all the way to the door this morning and when I got to the barn, I could not get in. The "sliding" bolt was not sliding due to being covered in ice. I had to return to the house and get a vice grips to pry open the door. During our usual walk, the dog and I kept running into icy branches across our path. Some were snapped off of nearby trees and others were still hanging on but right in our faces. Also the east pond was overflowing onto our usual path. All in all, not a good day to be out for a walk. (Did I mention that it was still raining and still freezing?)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


            One of the early spring flowers that I look for every year is on a shrub. Well, actually two shrubs have the flowers I look for first: the Beaked Hazel and the American Hazel. Both have tiny female flowers that are a magenta red and larger, longer male catkins that are yellow. The male catkins show up in the fall but are packed into tight little bundles. In early spring or even late winter i.e. March, the catkins loosen and extend and soon are blowing in the wind.  Below are photos of hazels.

            According to information in John Eastman's book "Forest and Thicket," there are "about four million grains (of pollen) in each catkin." 

            Just wondering, "Who counts the pollen grains anyway?"

Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Day of Spring - Almost

            Really, no posts since last year's Halloween? Wow. Where does time go when one is busy?

            Lots of water under the bridge since then. Probably no way I am going to take time to fill in the blanks. Wonder what comes to mind as being most important. Running two half marathons is what comes to mind. I ran one in November. It was the Road-2-Hope Half Marathon race. I have run every one of the races since they started except for one and on that one I ran the full marathon. I doubt that I will do another marathon but if I do, it will be this one. I have it in the back of my mind for the year that I am 75 but my feet will let me know if it is possible. Right now, I am still thinking, "No." Anyway, my half marathon time for that race was 2:32:40. I ran out of energy at about the 16 k point and just kept going by mentally pushing after that point.

I had better luck, and energy, at the beginning of this month at the Burlington Chilly Half Marathon. I ran that one in 2:25:32 and felt good for almost all of the race. I ran 4 minutes, walked 1 minute and repeated for the whole race except for a couple of 2 minute walks during the 2nd half of the run. I was 3rd out of 7 in my age group of 70-74 so I even got a place metal as well as a finish metal.

            I manage to get a few photos that I liked during November that I will place below:

            First day of spring - Almost: Because spring officially started at 00:30 just after midnight so we still had 30 minutes of winter today. Tomorrow is really the first full day of spring.

            Hoping to get the blog caught up some more and add some daily events again. There have been lots of early signs of spring during the last few weeks so there is much to write about.