Monday, March 19, 2018

Birds & no bees....

Hello from the frozen tundra of the North!  We are just days away from the Spring Equinox, better know First Day of Spring, and we just keep getting slammed with snow.  I don't want to complain --even though my natural man would like to-- because I'd really like to see some green soon, but I do know that this wet, wet snow that's coming down is what's going to make it green, green, green when it's all melted down.  The men here keep having to get up in the wee, dark hours of the morning to move enough snow out of the way so we can drive and have a little space for the sheep and cows to have somewhere to stand and eat.  There is no grazing happening at this point. Just standing and eating and walking a little bit to the water tanks.  As you can see by the first picture, the sheep and the cows in the background are pretty much snowbound.  We try to make it as bearable as possible, but it is what it is right now.  Thankfully we are warmer than we were in February -- staying mostly in the 20s and 30s -- which feels ok.  We are also thankful that the mature cows have not started calving yet.  We hope that we are going to get some warmer days to melt this snow off so they can have a little bare ground to have their babies on instead of the snow.  Hubby is planning to contact our county road plow neighbor and see if we can hire him to plow some bare spots in the pasture for the cows. 

Despite the rather wintry weather we are having, it does have a feel of spring to it.  Yes, it does!  It is wet, sloppy, good snow that's falling and there's a good deal of slush, and mud underneath the whiteness of it all.  And the other telltale signs are the birds that are arriving.  The Canada geese have been here, standing around in the hay field looking for something green or buggy to eat.  It's so funny to see them just standing out there in the snow looking around.  The meadowlarks have come in and can be found out in the pastures where the men have cleared snow away for the cows and sheep.  They are turning over every bit of hay or cow pie to see if there might be a bug underneath somewhere.  The robins have come too and so have the red-winged blackbirds.  Juncos are usually thought of as winter birds to most people, but they never stay here for the winter.  They do come though in early spring and again in the fall.  I think they are pass-through birds for us.  The red-polls and a few American goldfinches have stayed through the winter and are still here for our so-called spring.  But you must know that oftentimes, this really IS what spring looks like for us.  Heavy, wet, spring snowfall is typical.  It's just that we haven't had it in a few years, and it comes on top of our previous, hard, winter snow so it feels like the never-ending winter.  But.....spring will overcome winter.  The sun gets nearer and it will prevail!

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the snow.  I've been strapping on my traditional, wood snowshoes to test them out on this wet snow and they work beautifully at keeping me floating on top of the snow.  The modern, aluminum snowshoes are a bit heavier and they tend to sink into the softer snow.  They are great for hard snow, but not so much for this stuff.  The dog, Heidi, and I are enjoying the walks.  She thought she should bring the frisbee along.  She sinks in to her belly, but doesn't seem to mind.  I try to tell her to walk in my tracks, but she doesn't care.  She wants to chase jackrabbits!

So, my friends, from the country where the snow seems to never end, I wish you happy winter and will very soon wish you a happy spring!  What's happening in your neck of the woods?


  1. Our mud puddles are drying up a bit. My daughter thought maybe the frost had gone out! We're expecting some more snow this week. Not sure how much. Glad you're getting some much needed moisture, anyway! :)

  2. That picture of the forlorn Meadowlark in the snow sums up the situation! I sure hope you get nicer weather soon!

  3. Well we are getting ready to have a huge atmospheric river. The weather man says it only happens every 7 to ten years. Its a tropical storm from Hawaii. It is supposed to melt our snow, I wonder if it will get to you and melt your snow? Poor sheep. Poor Men having to get up and go out in the cold. I wish I knew how to snow shoe. I hope it warms up for you soon.

  4. Wow! You HAVE had a lot of the white stuff. We haven't. Weird, huh?
    I love your snowshoes. That sounds fun!
    Cute doggy!

  5. Amazing photos of those pretty little birds braving the snow. Wish I could send you a big basket of sunshine.

  6. Happy First Day of Spring Jody! I hope your snow is starting to melt and it's warming up as the days are getting longer. I love your beautiful descriptions of life on the prairie this time of year -- it all sounds just perfect!

  7. I'm just going to whisper and say that we have sunshine and blue skies here in the Seattle area but...they are calling for rain again on Thursday. You look snowed under. We are headed to the sloppy snow melting part of our state which makes our car look like it's been through a mud bath. Love all your photos of your world!

  8. Tonight, rain and thunder. We've had an unusual winter - colder temps, more rain, and very windy. We don't have your cold temps, though. I'm glad you have all this moisture for your fields later.

  9. We always called junco's "snow birds" because they always were the bird that heralded snow. Sunday, the honey and mason bees were working the Bradford Pear trees; today, there's 3 inches of snow on the ground.

  10. Jody, I hope since you posted this that your weather has lightened a bit. I know snow will continue to come throughout the spring there, but I hope and pray you get plenty of gorgeous sunshine mixed in! I've only snowshoed in the metal ones-- interesting that that the wood ones stay aloft better! :) I love reading about your life on the prairie, and I love your hopeful, positive attitude. Thank you!


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