Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I have been waiting for this day for months!  As I ran through the newly flooded back loop of Rollins Savannah... clad, I might add, in shorts and a tank top... a dragonfly swooped past my head.  YEA!  It wasn't the only thing that the strong wind carried my way... the cloyingly sweet perfume of blooming magnolias.  The aroma of outdoor grilling.  When the mercury first tops 80, everything comes out to play.

Also seen:  trout lilies blooming.  Baby geese (on 4/28).  Pasqueflower blooming.  First prairie smoke blooming.  Dandelions in full bloom.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The nice weather lasted... 1 day!  Yesterday was rainy -- a cold front coming through, and by evening the rain was really sleet.  This morning dawned COLD.  And muddy.  

Still, spring is marching on.  Goldfinches are gold, and daffodils are blooming.  Some shrubs -- black currants, lilacs -- are starting top leaf out, so that we can see a springy green haze in some places when we look across lawns and fields.  Catkins are finally fluffy on willows, aspen, and other trees...  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day dawned sunny and bright -- the nicest day of the year so far, I think... relatively warm, not terribly windy.  Of course, the nice weather brought the first ticks of the season, as well.  With the good, comes the nasty.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Seasonal Update

I haven't been motivated to blog lately... but that doesn't mean I haven't been making notes about the appearance (or lack thereof) of spring... and sometimes composing poetic paragraphs in my head that never make it onto paper (keyboard).  Finally, however, I feel the need to have a record of data that I can look back on.  

Winter may have started weak this year, but it ended strong.  There was a weak in early March when the ground was covered with a foot of snow -- we had 2 largish late-winter snowfalls -- and everyone was walking around talking about how last year on this day it was 80 degrees.  None of that in 2013.  Spring is arriving reluctantly.  I can only hope that means when it comes, it will park itself firmly, not let winter creep back in!

Yesterday was ice off... the latest ice off in the past 7 years at least.  Here's the data I've kept, indicating that we're over a month past last year's date, weeks later than average... and indeed, it's the only April ice off date I've seen!

2006 -- Mar 10
2007 -- Mar 18
2008 -- Mar 31
2009 -- Mar 9
2010 -- Mar 18
2011 -- Mar 18
2012 -- Feb 22!
2013 -- April 4!

Meanwhile, plants are similarly slow compared to last year.  In 2012, spring ephemerals flowered in March -- we had violets and Pasqueflower, bloodroot and others... This year... not a lot.  Crocuses are in full bloom, daffodil and tulip leaves are out with frost-burned tips, but they're not that tall yet.  There's no green haze across the water as willows get that springy green... even the catkins have been slow to swell.  (Vernal witch hazel is in bloom, and silver maples have flowered... that's about it that I've noticed, plant-wise.)  Redwing black birds are about the only thing that kept to the normal spring schedule this year.

Yesterday, I saw a cluster of ants surrounding something on the sidewalk, and last weekend when we went for a walk, some gnatty things were flying around my head, so I guess the insect workld is starting to come back to life, too. 

OK, back to work!