Journal for March 1, 2009

We just finished a trip to southern Texas and – as always – I took too many photos and am having trouble getting them all into the blog.

Back at the farm, at this time of year, spring seems to be teasing us. We’ve had days with the temperature in the 50s, the creek flooding, and no snow on the prairies. And we’ve had other days of heavy snows and daytime temperatures near zero.

Here’s the flooded creek, on the first really warm day.

The mosses hidden in cracks of the rocks are moist and green.

Pussy-toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia) sending up new sprouts.

The raccoons are awake. This big one walked very carefully all along the steepest part of the cliff. We couldn’t figure out what it was looking for.

On warm days I’ve been starting to work on my spring brush-clearing projects. This is the steep slope on the west side of Indian Grass Point, after I spent a few hours clearing Prickly Ash and Gray Dogwood.

Indian Grass prairie, looking like spring

Behind the house after a snowstorm

Some little animal got caught – probably by a Red-tailed Hawk.

Mouse footprints

I’ve even been seeing some caterpillars in the snow. They crawl around very slowly. I think this is some kind of cutworm.

Western Prairie

Buffalo Ridge and Volvo Meadow

The view down Praag Valley from Big View Prairie

Sumac Prairie is usually the place where the snow disappears first. I walked up there one warm day. In some places there was almost no snow.

There were still bits of snow left, but they were scattered over the middle of the prairie, and made it look like a snowball field.

Sunset over the wetland