Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Notes from Sand Creek

Spring arrived in full force over the weekend, with high temperatures in the 60's. Sunday afternoon I relaxed in a lounge chair on our "beach" by the pond while the boys dug in the mud and sand. There is still ice on the pond, but it is getting darker and pulling away from the edges. The kids found a brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans)in the shallows. Our pond has been there for nearly two years, but we have not put any fish into it. So how did a school of sticklebacks get there? There is an overflow culvert, that in times of high water could connect to the creek; maybe that was the route. If that was the case, I wish a school of brook trout would find its way in there!

Saturday night I woke to the chorus of a flock of tundra swans making its way north by night. The next morning, two more flocks flew over in undulating "V" formations.

Over the last few days I have seen or heard song sparrows, robins, phoebes, and bluebirds. The woodcock makes its nightly performance. Although ruffed grouse appear to be low in number this spring, I think I heard one drumming in the woods while Vincent and I went for a walk. And Sally the turkey has apparently found herself a beau; Russ said he heard a tom gobbling in the woods, and she hasn't been seen since.

The yard and driveway are thankfully drying up. There are still a few persistent mounds of snow in shady spots, but I can walk outside without wearing rubber boots! My raised beds are still wet, and frozen in the morning, but if this weather keeps up I may be able to plant lettuce and other greens this weekend. I so long for a huge fresh picked salad instead of buying one of those pathetic bagged salads at the grocery store!

Oh, and...as I was turning on to the road from the driveway this morning, I caught a glimpse of a large, dark animal on the edge of the road near the next driveway down. It was gone by the time I got near. If it had been a dog, it would have stayed on or near the road. If it had been a deer, there would have been a few of them together. BEAR?

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