Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Springtime

Local weather seems fixed on skipping straight to early summer. I'm in t-shirts and shorts and still sweating -- it's been in the mid-80s (30°C) already. News reports said we'd had the driest December - January - February period on record for over 100 years. It doesn't seem to have affected the wildflowers, though. And finding springs has never been easier: just walk into the woods and listen for frogs.

Hubby tilled up the garden. He mowed the grass for the first time, or part of it anyway -- he also experienced the traditional first bending of the lawn mower blade.

Tiny ants keep popping up in the kitchen, and outdoors the larger ones are unrelenting. Diatomaceous earth poured onto an ant superhighway only served to split them into two trails on either side; seemingly twice as many ants.

I happened upon my first migrant (Swainson's Thrush) when I was without binoculars, and had to practice a considerable amount of stealthy sneaking to confirm the ID. We've seen or heard several others since then: Louisiana Waterthrush, Northern Parula, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black and White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Rough-winged Swallows, Broad-winged Hawk.

The chickens' and ducks' fancy has turned to love, or to mating at any rate. The female muscovy is trying to sit on eggs yet again, but that duck doesn't have a lick of sense so I'm not holding my breath. The chickens are laying very well, but the color of the eggs is lighter than last year. Sometimes the green/blue eggs are almost as pale as the white ones. Hens are supposed to lay fewer eggs every year, but larger ones. I don't think our Leghorn or Marans read that book though, because their eggs are smaller than last year.

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Edited to correct horrendous spelling error. I read once that the smarter you get, the worse your spelling becomes. It's probably not true, but I repeat it a lot anyway.

10 comments:

Mark said...

We are very warm and dry over in NW Georgia, too. The dogwoods, thank goodness, are still holding up and I see their blooms everywhere in the woods.

meresy_g said...

77 degrees today here in southcentral PA. But seasonable the rest of the week. My eggs are big one week and small the next. They can't make up their minds I suppose. Hopefully we will be tilling on the weekend.

Rose Connors said...

I'm so jealous of your eastern migrant warblers. Before moving to Oregon, I thought spring migration in Miami was mighty close to heaven.

Rachel said...

Oh, very warm here and I mowed the lawn today for the first time this year. I was sweating big time!!

Looks like the chickens are still earning their keep!

Dana said...

We're heading down to Alabama for Easter and i can't wait! It's my favorite time of the year in Bama. My mother's flowers will be blooming and hopefully the dogwoods will be too. Did I miss them?

Ki said...

The wood anemone looks just great! We had a Muscovy duck once, when he was a duckling we placed him in a small tub with water so he could paddle around. Flies were attracted to the lip of the tub and he could pick them off and ate them like you couldn't believe. He rarely missed so we called him Musashi after the Japanese swordsman in the movies who could pick off flies in the air with a pair of chopsticks. Trouble is he fell in love with my wife's leg and would attack her any chance he got when he was an adolescent. He would fly around the neighborhood and was gone for a couple of weeks so we thought he was killed by dogs or run over. We got a call one day from a neighbor a couple of blocks away saying that the duck took up residence in their carport! They didn't mind but if we wanted our duck back we should come and get him. Very laid back neighborhood :)

Rurality said...

Mark, I could have sworn they said this week would be cooler... but it's not.

Meredith, didn't you just have snow?!

Rose, before we had so many critters we used to travel to the coast for migration every year.

Rachel, we are dieting so we're not eating many eggs! We give them away.

Dana, I think they are at their peak right now.

Ki, I wonder if all muscovies fall in love with legs like that. Ours loves whichever one happens to be handy, but mine appears particularly fine to him somehow.

KFarmer said...

Talk about the weather H O T ! But I'm not complaining. Are you planting on Good Friday?

John said...

We already had June-in-March in DC as well!

Ontario Wanderer said...

I suppose it will soon be too hot for comfort in Ontario as well but right now it's nice that the snow has melted and the next snow is not forecast until this afternoon. Some wild flowers are up and blooming anyway, so I am sure spring will spring any day now.