Journal for May 2002


Good birds these days.  We saw another crane in a field near Sand Road, on the way to Mondovi, and there have been lots of warblers and migrating sparrows.  The orioles just arrived today – they announce themselves loudly, so you can’t miss them.  We put out grape jelly for them, so they stay all summer, and bring their babies to the feeders.  I wonder if we’ll get them at the farm?  They don’t come to the feeders at the cabin, but the house won’t be in the woods, so we may get different birds.

I think I saw some Lapland Longspurs.  When I first went through the birdbook I was looking for males, since I’m sure one of them was a male.  But I think it was a male that didn’t have it’s breeding plumage.  One of the birdnet folks wrote and suggested Longspurs, and I think he’s right.  They were running on the ground like thrushes, but they didn’t have the right markings.  And they were in the field, not the woods.

We closed on the money for the house, and the new tractor today.  Then drove down to clearing skies.  Rose and Martha came to trout fish – Martha caught 2 – her first time.  We also met Chris, shoes father-in-law used to farm our land.  We deeded the road – the left side of the Y – Prairie Road is our new name for it – assuming the prairie plants come up.  There are lots of birds at the feeder.  Numerous Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Orioles eating peanuts.  There are no hummingbirds – the sugar-water ran out, and the ones from last week have gone.

We make a path through the woods across from the Frog Pond – a lot of work.  It’s a beautiful woods with logging roads which are overgrown with brambles and a few of the spring flowers surviving.  The nice parts of the woods have Rue Anemone, Arailia nudicaulis, lots of ferns, including a big patch of Oak Fern, and Wild Geranium.

5/26, 5/27/02
We had a nice weekend with the kids.  They were reluctant to come, and Robert was a little bored.  But Richard got to drive the new tractor – he announced that if we got a CD player for it he would mow whenever and for as long as we want.  Richard also discovered the pleasure – and the disadvantages – of taking naps.  Nice, but it’s so hard to sleep at night.  Pat and Paul came down on Monday, and we showed them Sumac Prairie and Hidden Oaks.  Hoary Puccoon was blooming everywhere.

I almost stepped on a fawn on the Knife Edge prairie – it was sleeping soundly and I was tempted to pet it.  But instead I tiptoed quietly away.  The trees are so beautiful with their leaves not quite full size – the Aspens and Oaks especially.  Cherries are starting to bloom.  I dug up one to plant in the front yard at home.

We saw the first Monarch of the season at the back of Hidden Oaks Prairie – laying eggs, I think.  Then we saw another by 280 and Larpenteur on the way home.

I don’t have any entries from now until August – so I’m going to include some emails that I wrote to Jackie, and that she wrote to me during that time.

5/28/02 note from me to Jackie:
You’re right – the house hasn’t started yet – Perry is waiting for Jeff Reglin, who got delayed by the wet weather, and then had a few jobs that he had to finish first, before he could start on ours.  I think he’ll start on ours this week or next.  Perry is getting very impatient!  But the electricity is in, so we’re ready to go.

We’re loving this weather!  We were down this weekend, with kids, for a change.  I think they had a pretty good time in spite of the outhouse.  We all tried out the new tractor – Richard announced that he would mow anytime, for as long as we want, if we would get a CD player put in.  We may take him up on it.  But it turns out that the tractor isn’t quite right, so Mike is contemplating an upgrade to a larger one.  We’ll see what happens with that.

We have great birds at the feeders this year.  Orioles have finally discovered the sugar water – it ‘s taken them 2 years!  Now they finish it up in a few days.  And once we had an oriole, an indigo bunting, a cardinal and two rose-breasted grosbeaks on the feeder at the same time!  Very colorful.

then from Jackie to me:
It’s just the greatest night here — frogs singing so loud, a nice cool breeze after 80 degrees today — ah, I think summer is on its way.  Great news about your house!!