Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Return of the Birds

The Mallards arrived this week. We saw them doing the funny duck walk thing down at the front of the yard. Last year's nest seemed to be among the shrubbery between the parking lot and the road. Seemed an odd choice, but this is the same area we saw them in on Monday.

The geese have been back for some time; the robins also. Yesterday I saw the flock of blackbirds sitting on the telephone wires. I'm going to have to keep them out of the evergreen near the house this year. They just go bananas when anyone comes near their nest, and never seem to learn that we won't harm them. Robins, on the other hand, can learn to be calm around us when we act calmly and quietly around them. We had a momma robin nesting on the crossbeam of our wishing well one year. We were able to sit within ten feet of her without upsetting her.

Every year some birds try to build a nest in the hole where the downspout comes through the eaves by the backdoor. Fortunately, we use that door enough that they become discouraged and leave. I don't care for a nest inside our eaves!

Our weather has been spectacular since Sunday, just like summer. But we needn't get up any hopes; it will surely be colder later on again. For now we'll just enjoy the outdoor living. In the meantime I did some planting on Monday. The soil was just perfect! We'd had a five minute thundershower on Sunday about 6 p.m. and the soil was moistened just right. The WallaWalla onions look so perky! It will be a while before the spinach, lettuce and Swiss chard is up. This afternoon I should plant some more: more onions, more chard and lots of peas. Soon I want to get the potatoes in, too. We grow Red Norlands and Russet Burbanks. I've tried others, but these are the two that I prefer.

This year I want to grow some corn again, and some scarlet runner beans and broad beans. Hummingbirds are attracted to the scarlet runners.

One other spring note: I heard frogs in the dugout near town for the first time yesterday. The frogs in our dugout are always a bit later, as it is deeper and colder. Unfortunately this year we had no runoff from the snowmelt, and the dugout has only three or four feet of water in it. Unless we get a rainy May (predicted by the foggy February) we will be dry sometime during the summer. We hope and pray for rain!

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