Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nature Notes: Mmmmmm. Sun.

Spring Sun

Spring has sprung! It happened last Sunday, when the pussy willow blossoms suddenly burst open, revealing the first tantalizing glimpse of white fluff within. In the days that followed, the sun made a comeback. Temperatures climbed above freezing, the snow began to melt, rising in deep fogs in the morning. By noon the skies had turned impossibly blue.

Today brought the first robins and bluebirds, and all the birds are singing again. Now that they've found the feeder we're seeing cardinals, titmice, chickadees, juncos, jays, doves, sparrows, and purple finches. The hawk has taken notice and watches from the trees at the property line, but he seems not to want to come so close to the house. However, I have spotted a mouse bustling around under the cover of the dead weeds beneath the feeder, and a couple of nights ago there was a raccoon walking the porch railing like a tightrope acrobat, trying to reach into the seed tray. I'll have to keep an eye on those guys.

It's time to figure out when to start seeds indoors, to decide on a weed controlling mulch for the veggie patch, and to lay out firm plans for managing the land here. (More on that last later - I've met some great folks at the Saint Joseph County Soil and Water Conservation District, and I'm still exploring the conservation options and management information they provided.)

It seems we went from eternal winter to spring overnight, and suddenly there is so much to do. It's the season of hope, of irrational optimism and ambitious projects. Bring it on, baby. Bring it.



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14 comments:

Rambling Woods said...

Vicki..post and read whenever you can. I know you love Nature Notes and when you aren't around, it's because real life gets in the way.. lol... I love the cat. Just like my boys and they were running through the house today as I think they got spring fever too.

If you are concerned about the vole or mouse, put a tray underneath to catch any seeds. I use old Christmas tree trays or boot trays or bin lids and I just scoop it up at night. Of course any voles are a big target for the hawks and sharp-shinned aren't shy about houses. ..Michelle

MyMaracas said...

Thanks, Michelle! I do hate to miss the meme. And after looking them up online, I think what I saw was a vole. And I think I'd rather it had been a mouse.

Chrissykat said...

Well Gatsby sure is looking good! How has he been lately? Such a cute pic of him soaking up the sun!

Debbie said...

Spring is a sprunging here too! What a great shot of your cat, I love it! Thanks for stopping by and your opinion was very much appreciated. I am learning and loving all the input for sure!

readingsully2 said...

That cat is adorable. LOL

MyMaracas said...

Chrissy, Thanks for your concern. The evening after this photo was taken, Gatsby was back in the emergency room. This time, it was a digestive tract inflammation of some kind. ::sigh::

MyMaracas said...

Debbie, thanks for stopping by! Your post addressed some issues I've been mulling over for a while now. It was interesting to see others' responses.

MyMaracas said...

Reading, Thanks. We're pretty fond of him. ;-)

Sammy Thorley said...

Gatsby is really cute & I love this photo as he looks so happy & in another world soaking up the sun.

smallpines said...

Sunny kitty! Awesome. It's been sunny and warm (40s) here for a week, and looks to be mostly so in the next week. I really don't mind Winter much ... but I sure do welcome Spring!!

Chrissykat said...

Oh my...I'm so sorry to hear that! Thank goodness he has you looking out for him & his well being. Is the gastritis getting better now? We just had an interesting situation with our 16yr old & her food. She's eaten dry food all of her life & out of the blue, she couldn't tolerate it anymore & would vomit every meal. She's now on a canned food diet & is doing great...go figure! I hope Gatsby improves...hugs to you both.

Sallyacious said...

I'm so jealous. I am missing my crabapple, hawthorne and cherry trees. Also, the lilacs.

A piece of news said...

I LOVE that photo. We have a cat with mysterious troubles...began to suspect food allergies. It's difficult to sort it all out. I feel for you on that.

MyMaracas said...

Sammy, he does love a sun spot. And he does know how to relax. ;-)

Smallpines, I like winter too, but I'm done with it by February.

Chrissy, I'm so sorry to hear your cat is ailing too! It's such a worry, isn't it - and it seems to all come back to commercial dry food. I wish I had never heard of the stuff.

Sally, you'll have lots of spring flowers in Chicago too, just wait and see. It's a beautiful place.

News, food allergies?? Man, something else to think about. Thanks!