Monday, March 28, 2005

Sightings and happenings, March 26-27

Well, spring is officially here. The most convincing sign is when my Honda Accord wagon gets stuck in the mud back by the house and I have to start parking out in front and walking in! Oh for a few loads of gravel for the driveway...maybe this year...

We drove south to my uncle's house on Rush Lake for Easter dinner. They had a lot less snow to begin with and it was almost gone. There were still a few people out ice fishing on the lake, even one pickup truck! The kids played outside, and even I got into a short game of wiffleball.

One of the highlights for me was getting a good view of a Cooper's hawk in a tree by the lake. The great blue herons were starting to arrive at their colony on the island across the bay. A male cardinal gave nonstop song all afternoon. Killdeers were calling across the road. I made a point to look for red winged blackbirds on the way there, and did not notice any, but on the way back home I saw several. We also saw the first sandhill cranes of the year. No robins or bluebirds yet, but I'm looking! I did see one northern shrike this morning.

I planted my first seeds on Saturday after rearranging the cookshed so I had enough shelf space. Russ put up a fluorescent shop light so the seedlings will have plenty of light. The first thing I planted was lemon balm; not planned but the seed packet had fallen on the floor, then one of the cats knocked over a pitcher of water so the seeds got wet. Maybe the cats were trying to tell me something, but I would understand more if it were catnip! Then I repotted two aloes and Vincent's apple tree, which he has grown from seed and is now about 18 inches tall! I started twelve kinds of tomatoes: Brandywine (of course), Amish Paste, and Stupice are tried and true for me, the rest are new. There was Riesentraube, a cherry/grape type tomato, black cherry, Black from Tula, Wisconsin 55, Enterprize, Maskabec, Tiffen Mennonite, Aztec, and Mother Russia. I'm not done planting tomatoes yet though! I also planted three kinds of eggplant: Casper, Listada de Gandia, and Rosita.

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