Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Birds

I love spring, well who doesn't, but sometimes I think parts of it are just for me.
The birds of prey are back.  I play count the birds (of prey) every time I leave the house.  Just today there were 7 on the way to work and 8 on the way home.  Odds are good I was counting the same birds but there are really no rules to the game.  I see the two big red tailed hawks sitting in the stands of poplar along Hwy 12 after Medicine River.  Sometimes I see them in the act of the hunt, hovering in the air ready to dive.  Phones are not my distraction while driving!
Cranes are back, I see them flying overhead, always an odd number, their massive wings effortlessly slicing through the air.
The geese, my favorites are everywhere.  I haven't seen large flocks arriving back, but there are a couple in this field, a few in that field, a couple in the beaver pond and other ponds and wet lands.
As I was driving to work on Easter Monday, just past the mailboxes, I saw something out of the corner of eye.  Always on watch for deer or moose around here, I looked out the car window and not 10' from me were 2 geese flying.  They were almost parallel to my drivers window for about half a km.  They stayed low to go under the power lines still just over the ditch.  Wow, I was in an absolute state of bliss!  I lost sight of them as I went around the corner to go down the hill, but I'm sure that tiny wonderous event was put on just for me.  What a great way to start the day.🌞

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 25, 2017
Mid-winter here, next to the middle of nowhere.  Down the hill calfs are being born and seeing that makes me yearn that much more for spring.  The buds on the trees waking up, swelling and bursting into green..... wishful thinking right now.  I'm pretty sure winter will hang on for a couple more months.
Took a peak in the cold frame, the iris started last summer are still green.  You know they're not actively growing but just seeing that bit of green stirs the lust for spring.   Heuchera and geum are still green as well.  Have you ever noticed what plants stay green under the snow?  I'm always amazed by that.
We've had our first chinook for 2017, the break from that brisk chill of -25C is always welcome.  I do feel for the critters though.  Now that it's cold again, the surface of the snow is a hard crust. Sometimes it holds my weight, sometimes not and my boot goes down with the jagged crust of ice scraping against my knee.  At least I have boots and jeans to protect me.

Battle of the thrips is continuing in the house.  Brought them in from the yard last year.  If you're not planning on growing anything, then putting thick black plastic and bark mulch down is great.  A perfect climate for thrips.  We have little in the way of chemicals to combat these critters, not that I would resort to using them, but when they take out a whole pot of shepherdia seedlings one tends to think of desperate measures.   I've been using a solution of Murphy's wood soap, it does work for the foliage but not the soil.  I'm hoping repotting will tip the scales in my favour, everything needs to be done anyway.

I've gone through the 100's of pictures that I take on my excursions and, here they are......

 May 15, 2016  Taken from Windy Point.  It was alarming to see how low the lake was.  It is a dam so I assume water was let out.  I've just never seen it that low. 

Abraham Lake by the dam.  You can see where the water line is usually.

Abraham Lake again, pictures taken September 14, 2016.  Very high!  One extreme to the other, I've never seen it this high.  

One can usually walk out to that bit of rock that is now an island.  

I've never seen this before but I will assume that it is rock and not a Nessie laying in wait.  

White rose in the yard by the tack shed.  I love the hips from this rose.  Rich intense black and the smell as they ferment is simply mouth watering.   I think they would make wonderful jelly or schnapps.

Blunt fruited Sweet Cicely, Osmorhiza depauperata.  This grows in the yard.  It's a pretty little plant and I'm hoping it will spread.

Thalictrum venulosum just starting to bloom.

Geum rivale, one of my favorites.  I love the daintiness of it.

Beaked hazelnut, Corylus cornuta.  First thing to bloom in my neck of the woods.  This picture was taken April 3, 2016.

The beavers were fun to watch this past summer.  I did manage to catch glimpses of them swimming but the pictures didn't turn out.  

Aralia nudicaulis

Corallorhiza maculata

Thalictrum venulosum

Rosa woodsii

Mitella , Mitrewort in flower and in seed.

Cornus canadensis, Bunchberry

Top of Lake Abraham, top picture west, above picture east.

Androsace chamaejasme

Haven't figured this one yet.  

Saw this herd quite a bit this year.  Wild horses are always a welcome sight.

Shunda view point.

Highway 12, right side, left side.  Love this view.

This is NOT a Ford Focus road.  Just saying.  How do I know?  I tried it, and frankly I'm grateful I didn't have to call a tow truck to make it back down as far as I got.  Just a cell tower up there, no cool plants. 

Taking pictures of Lake Abraham never gets old to me.  Anytime of day, anytime of year.  I have hundreds upon hundreds of pictures taken at Windy Point.   

Dead bug on a limber pine cone.  

Spruce grouse in my willows.

December 25, 2016   Taken in my yard before heading in to Rocky for Christmas.

That's about it for now.