Just because we’ve been enjoying some great spring weather lately (although the last couple of days have been cool and windy), it doesn’t mean there aren’t signs of spring in other places, too.
Kenosha Marge sent in this report from way up north in Wisconsin after reading last week’s Saturday Sanity:
SO and I have seen a couple of Robins the past few days and were getting that “Spring Is Coming Soon” spring in our step. Yes, yes I know that the offical first day of Spring was Friday the 20th. That’s what the calendar says. When a Robin is in your backyard birdbath and on one of your backyard bird feeders that really means Spring is coming. Or maybe not. Here’s some expert who just had to rain on my parade.
Steve Lewis of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds in Minneapolis said some robins in northern Wisconsin might have come south from Canada, “but they’re not birds that are coming back early from their wintering areas.”Some may wonder how a bird weighing under 3 ounces can survive in a climate that can drop below zero degrees without warning.For robins and other winter birds, it’s simply a matter of sprouting a few more down feathers for extra insulation and finding a steady source of food.Frozen ground means no worms and frozen air inhibits crowds of insects, so robins and other birds like cedar waxwings will seek out fruit from crabapple trees and other berries still hanging on branches.If they can keep their stomachs full, they see no reason to leave, said Dick Verch, a retired DNR employee who organizes the annual Christmas bird count for the Chequamegon Audubon Society.“If you look at a lot of the fruiting trees – mountain ash and others – they still have fruit on them, and very often at this time of the year they’ve been stripped by birds,” Verch said. “That’s an indication there’s a good quantity of food, so maybe as the birds went into the winter with a lot of food around them, it kept them here.”
Verch said participants in the 2008 count spotted 76 robins – 56 more than the previous record of 20, set in 2004.
While we’re on the subject of our animal buddies, I thought I’d share a pic of Toro, our first dog, who turns 10 on March 31st! Happy Birthday, TORO! With spring in the air, Toro has taken a fancy to eating al fresco!
Here’s an update on TROOPER, my betta fish. Over the last few weeks he seems to have really “grown up” in his behavior….he’s gotten larger and more aggressive about going after his food. He’s probably reached maturity and he certainly is robust in health, especially since I change him every 4 days! I picked up a calendar at my State Farm office which feature golf courses…and the greens and traps seem to bring out Trooper’s colors very nicely. He’s such a dark blue that he needs the contrast to be seen at his best!
Disappointing news…I’ve had to give up hope that I could entice Mario, the runaway chihuahua. The food was being eaten by birds, so it seems Mario is gone. Best of luck, little guy…
But, some good news…On Tuesday (3/24) I was buzzed. A few moments later I saw my first hummingbird of the season! The feeder is up and it looks like it’s being used.
The desert plants are beginning to wake up and within a couple of short days, the cactus in the front yard started blooming!
The NM privet that was flowering last week is now leafing out and the larger privet in the front yard is also starting to show some leaves.
The peach, fig, pomegranate and apricots are all continuing to bud out and the baby figs and peaches are really growing fast. And my oldest grape vine is really starting to rev up:
Finally, here’s a shot of my garden beds with a lot of the plants waiting for transplanting under the sun shade. I cover them at night because it still gets chilly and the wind over the last few days dries things out in a very short time. By the way, I found Ichiban eggplant and those fantastic pimiento peppers this week, so I can’t wait to get all these wonderful things into the ground!!
Hope spring is happening wherever you are!
Filed under: Life | Tagged: apricots, betta fish, cactus, Chequamegon Audobon Society, chihuahuas, dogs, figs, Flame grape, gardening, high desert gardening, hummingbirds, Ichiban eggplant, New Mexico privet, peaches, pimiento peppers, raised bed gardening, robins, Southwest gardening, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Birds, Wisconsin | 27 Comments »