Monday, March 30, 2015

More Catkins

American hazel catkins are swelling; female flowers starting also.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ice Off

We woke up this last day of spring break (AKA winter break part II) to a thin layer of snow, and I wonder... could it possibly be the season's last?  The day is supposed to stay at or below freezing temperatures all day, too.  A fine end to spring break.

That said, I did indeed miss ice off, despite the low temps the last week.  Here's what I know.  It was on on 3/20.  It was off on 3/26.  I didn't see it in between.  Unless I get better data, I'll put this year's ice off date for Lake Leopold at 3/23/15.  That makes the data look like this:
2015: 3/23
2014: 4/2
2013: 4/4
2012: 2/22
2011: 3/18
2010: 3/18
2009: 3/9
2008: 3/31
2007: 3/18
2006: 3/10

50's over the weekend, maybe.  Or at least by Monday.  Time marches on.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I guess I didn't need to worry about missing ice off over spring break...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Welcome Sun!

Happy Equinox, and welcome spring, at 5:45 pm tonight (local time).
Spring seems to be coming in with a cold spell, but I'm still thankful for longer days and higher sun angles...

Snow Mold

Everyone's been talking about the snow mold this week, even blaming it on the rash of illnesses we've had. I don't know about that, but apparently the conditions are perfect for it this year... Prolonged snow cover, melt without rain to wash it away. Here's a patch of it:

Goooood Morning, Prairie Crossing!

Love the smell of prairie burn in the morning. (Yes, I know that's a different movie.)
Also... Ice is off of this part of the lake, but most remains covered. I fear I'll miss ice off (spring break).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Catkins can!

Alder catkins swelling.
Aspen catkins are getting inciting, too...

Also... What a difference a day makes... The red wing blackbirds that last week I heard but couldn't see, then saw a few... Now there are armies of them, epaulettes on fiery red display, yelling at me wherever I go.

Ani, I just found this amusing:
Think there were any hungry rabbits here this winter?

Which hazel is which?

Vernal witch hazel flowers... So diminutive and lovely, an orange celebration of spring...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cranes came!

I recognize that the fact that those are Sandhill cranes is not discernible from the photo, but the sound is unmistakable... Welcome back!

Saturday, March 14, 2015


No more needs be said.  Well, actually...
Snowdrops, too.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Red wing black bird

Their calls pierce the chill morning air. First heard them yesterday; today they're downright plentiful.