For having a blog that includes "phenology" in the description, one would think that I would have been faithfully updating posts these last few weeks, chronicling the unfolding of the warmest March on record. In an ideal world, that is.
Sorry folks. In reality it seems this month has gone by in a blur, busier than ever doing I don't even know what. Getting kids ready for the band trip. Helping Joe with his Science Fair project. Putting the first 3,000 miles on the new car shuttling kids to baseball and volleyball practices and shopping in Duluth. Working. et cetera.
However, those of you who are on Facebook know that it is much easier to write a quick status update than it is to compose a coherent blog post. And if we're Facebook friends, you know that I manage to update my status fairly often. That is, if you haven't hidden me from your feed because you're tired of hearing about my life! :) So, I have reviewed my last month of status updates and put together a phenology of sorts:
March began with about a foot of snow on the ground, the first significant snowfall we'd had all winter. On the evening of the 3rd, we had a visit from a friend who was out snowmobiling, perhaps for the first time this winter. The next day a warm spring wind blew in. I traveled to the southern part of Minnesota for a work meeting on the 5th and saw my first ducks and geese. On the 7th I saw my first kestrel. On the 8th we had a mini blizzard, but that snow quickly disappeared. Early the morning of the 9th, I saw the aurora borealis; I have been waiting to see this for years!
On the 11th, The Hermit and I went shopping at Menard's in Duluth (for those of you outside of Minnesota and Wisconsin, that is like Home Depot or Lowes) and picked out base kitchen cabinets, a tub/shower enclosure, and bathroom vanity- all on sale! Let's just say I love my new Discover card...
First bluebirds on the 13th; on the 18th we put up four bluebird houses in the horse pasture, with the hope that at least one of them will be occupied by bluebirds. I didn't even record when I saw my first robin, but it was well ahead of the usual schedule. First blooming dandelion on the 16th. Lots of tundra swans flying over the 17th and 18th. Woodcock have been displaying morning and evening since the 18th; I even saw a female woodcock approach a male when he landed from his sky dance in the back yard. First spring peepers on the 19th.
Oh yeah, I seem to recall something happening on the 20th. Something to do with the number 45...
So now the ice is out on the pond, which makes Sally one happy Labrador, and the ice is even out on the big lakes. Of course, with my job that means I am out on the lakes too, pulling nets as we attempt to get an idea of the health of various fish populations. I don't think I had ever been out in a boat in March. Northern pike are spawning, and walleye are getting ready.
The lake I am working on just happens to be the lake where my grandma and grandpa lived, where I spent many weekends in and on the water. My grandma, 92, lives in town now, but my uncle still has the lake home. It is fun to be back; that lake will always be special to me.
So there's what happened in the March that felt more like April or May.
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