The Snows have invaded!

Snow geese

Today as I was heading to track practice in Linton, I saw a plethora of birds overhead. They were geese moving from southwest to northeast. As I followed them with my eyes I looked to the side a and found the field to my right was full. It made the field look snow covered. On the way home we saw a mixture of snows and Canadians in a sunflower field hidden basically in the stubble. Oh how I wished I had brought the camera. I did manage to get the picture above on the way north. Happy Spring to you all!

Home to see the geese

Geese are coming home.

Geese are coming home.

When we were jut about home today we could see lines and lines of Canadian Geese circling in front of us. As we got closer to the open water just south of Herreid, we saw hundreds sitting on the ground and more coming in to land. We stopped to take some pictures, but with only the little Canon and no zoom the shots were not that great. I will share the best of what I have and hopefully find some time tomorrow to take some good versions of the 2017 north migration. I will also find time later this week to post a few more of the Tennessee pictures. Just like I told James for two weekends, as much as you anticipate something in a blink it is over and you are at home feeding the cats and looking out the window. Well, we are in the middle of Lent, and so I have plenty of church work to do as well as some personal and business. Just hope we find the energy to get it all finished. Then add to that the track team practice will start on Wednesday without me, oh well, I think they can handle it.

Bird watching: Woodpecker?

IMG_8494I finally caught this bird on camera. I have been trying for a while. A few days ago I tried to sneak up from the side of the house and all I was able to snap was a blur of feathers. Today I blatantly opened the back door and it did not move. Wow! I am thinking it is a woodpecker, but I don’t know my birds all that well, and am sort of wondering why it would be hoping around in the backyard. I hear one or a few in the old dying trees behind the dike in our area, but am not sure if this is one of them. A few years ago when we had a dying elm in the yard, there was one here constantly. After we took the tree down we found it was filled with ants that appeared to be carpenter ants. IMG_8491My brother found a colony of them in my mother’s house when he did some work there. He took to them pretty harshly and hopefully they were eradicated in the area. I particularly like this second picture of the little bird as its face looks so very curious. Perhaps it is time to get Paulina a better lens with a more powerful zoom. Hope you enjoyed your day, whatever you were doing.

Caught you Mr. Blue Jay

Blue Jay in the tree

Blue Jay in the tree

We have a blue jay in the neighborhood who is always squawking. Others in the family get a little irritated by him, but I just love the sound. I would love the sight a few more times, but he is quite elusive. Last night he was sitting on the end of our east deck railing, but not for long. As soon as he saw me through the window, he was gone. I have tried other times to capture him on film, but no luck. Tonight with the long lens, I was able to get a few shots, though none very close even with the zoom. As you can see by the picture on the evergreen tree, he is a pretty big bird.

Blue Jay on the garden post.

Blue Jay on the garden post.

Now if he is just smart enough to stay away from the area cats, I might have a chance to get more pictures as the summer goes. And hopefully we will be able to hear his squawking long into the fall.

Jamestown, ND where we lived for 14 years has Blue Jays as the school mascot. When we were cleaning out the closet of the computer room on Friday, we found the little hoodie that belonged to Jessica when she was in kindergarten and maybe first grade.

Jessica's Blue Jay hoodie

Jessica’s Blue Jay hoodie

She wasn’t a Blue Jay for very long. We moved her to Montpelier in the third grade. She had two very good teachers in kindergarten and in first and Victoria also had a great kindergarten teacher. The but came for Jessica in second grade. It wasn’t the size of her class it was the attitude of the teacher. All she did at conferences was complain about the size of her room and the lack of time for her students, and I was pretty sure that she had no clue who our child was until she picked up the folder and began to look at her notes. I was always afraid of being that teacher when I had a large group of students in the classroom or on the athletic field. I still work very hard to learn people’s names as quickly as possible, which is actually getting a bit harder the less practice I have. But I will say, I always remember the stories. I can usually tell you something about each one whether it was a student, an athlete, someone in church or now even the campers in our campsite. The trick is you have to care. You have to put an effort into it. If God can count the very hairs on our heads, it really shouldn’t be too much to ask of us to pay attention to those around us and care a little. So enough of my preaching for one post.

Backside

Backside

Here is the backside of the hoodie. Instead of paying for the professional name on the back, we opted for the homemade version. My poor children were always subjected to that homemade stuff. So sad, no wonder they buy whatever they want now that they are older. Ha!!!

Just another day in the home office!

Grapefruit sections

Grapefruit sections

This morning I set out to have a little breakfast, read up on the scripture lessons for the next few services and see what else needs to be done. It is almost 1 p.m., and except for a brief stop in the kitchen to get some lunch, I have been in my office in front of the computer or phone the entire time. It might be worth noting that I did get out of bed when James left sometime after 7:30 a.m. I put the coffee on while he was in the shower, took a short “watch the news/check my computer” after the coffee was set, but mostly I have been working. It is interesting how productive one can be when the iPad is in seclusion in the bedside drawer being charged. I have been on the large computer, but sitting in an office chair always means more work gets accomplished.

Looking out the office window, the sky is gray and gloomy. The wind has been almost raging, and I expect we will have plenty of willow twigs to pick up come the weekend. Perhaps I could weave something of a trellis with them. Better not try, James will likely throw them at me. It is enough that we have to figure out how to move the sparrow nest on the porch light.

Sparrow nest

Sparrow nest

It seems to be an every year sort of problem. This year, though, I think they have gotten a bit out of control with the size of their nest. I was hoping we could put up a board fairly close to the light and just slide the nest over. I don’t want to disturb them, but I don’t want the house burning down because they put the straw where there could be some problems with electric wires. Hopefully they haven’t bitten on anything and caused any fraying. They are rather fun to watch and by the end of June are almost tame in the way they come and go if I sit quietly on the deck when I am having coffee or just relaxing.

So what about that first picture with the grapefruit sections. I love eating it, but I just hate the time it takes to sit and cut out each piece and how messy it is and such. Today I remembered that my father used to peel them the way you peel an orange. We all thought he was a bit weird, but today it made sense. He didn’t like the time it took either. He was a get to it sort of person, and now this makes perfect sense. The other day someone (auntlike) said I sounded just like my mother when I said a certain phrase. Well today, I verified that I act far more like my father, scary thought in some ways. Great accomplishment in others. I wish I had half his creative genius. Maybe that explains his demise. I had not meant for this blog to go in this direction, but as they say when you write, you cannot always control what words end up on the paper (or the blog for that matter).

Anyway, this morning was a bit crazy. I did all my reading, started some notes on future messages and then the phone rang. It was Debbie from HMB, they were wondering if I can do a few of the English sub spots that they cannot seem to fill. Well, we looked at my April calendar, and she has more calls to make and she might get back to me. If she can fill it will others, I will be out, which I can handle. I just have this hard time of saying no, though I am getting better. I will help them out if there is no other choice, and she knows that.

Next the church secretary reminded me that we have a newsletter due this week, rah! Did that and sent it off, next reading and notes for the upcoming Bible study. Wow, if that wasn’t enough Jessica texted to say, I should be getting a call from the person who lines up the House of Representatives chaplain, which she has wanted me to do for a bit, and I would love to just hope it all works. Then…we have a funeral coming up, a pre-scheduled funeral sounds weird, but sometimes that happens because they don’t bury until the frost is out of the ground. My hometown does it differently, but this has happened more often this year.

But the best deal of the whole day was when I heard a knock on the door. It was a lady in a coat all bundled up, and I knew right away what it was. She had a pamphlet in her hand and was inviting me to her church next week. I politely told her I already have a church and hope she has a nice day. That was during lunch when I was on the main floor. I have been hiding in the office ever since. The cats are curled up where they can find some warmth, and I guess it is time to close and go plant those tomato seeds before I head north to track practice. At least I have my bulletins finished for the week and the messages nearly done. I did let James know that the house won’t be cleaned until sometime in May, if then. Hopefully the daughters don’t wear their glasses when they come for Easter. Oh wait, they don’t all wear any, better yet. Ha!! Stay warm!

Final Day of winter, Ha, ha!

Today is supposed to be the final full day of winter for this season. As you can see from the pictures I am sharing, it is a cloudy, gloomy, gray day around here. The interesting thing is that the geese are flying like crazy. I wonder if they are trying to get ahead of the final snow, or just tired of their winter stomping grounds.

Geese in line under the power wire.

Geese in line under the power wire.

I took this picture for the colors in the clouds.

I took this picture for the colors in the clouds.

Some geese shown in the distance.

Some geese shown in the distance.

Another view

Another view

And one more view.

And one more view.

Just shots of the sky.

Just shots of the sky.

These four appear to be staying in the creek here to nest.

These four appear to be staying in the creek here to nest.

Seriously there has been a group of four geese hanging around all week. Each time a group comes in and lands they have a fit, but never leave. It would be fun to get some close ups of their nest, but that would take a campout in their area as they spook the second someone is in the area.

Another shot of the clouds.

Another shot of the clouds.

Oh yes, one last picture is a photo of the cat my grandson calls the werewolf. I believe he was shaking his head when I snapped this shot. Sophia and Roger are not too happy today because every time they want to go outside, he is in the area. He is a big male looking for a sweetheart, and they being spayed are not interested in his advances. I, personally, think they should team up to run him out of the area, but no such luck. They are only brave around little mice. Have a great final day of winter, and stay warm!!

Werewolf!

Werewolf!

The geese are flying

I took a video with my phone, which I have tried to transfer to the computer, but one won’t read the other because of the difference of iPhone and hp computer. Anyway the video really doesn’t show the birds all that well, but you can hear them. When the geese pass overhead it sounds like puppies yipping and yapping in a kenel. I know we say the sound is honk, honk, and for the most part it is, but on some occasions it sounds a little bit bark, bark to me. So here are the sights of what the early morning was like today. Mostly it has been a sunshine and wonderful resting day. There were a few glitches: 1. I went to bed with a really bad sore throat, which must be from sitting outside soaking in the vitamin D yesterday. There was also a cool breeze, and that is what hit me in the neck. 2. The tax lady called and although the family business was all the same as last year, our personal finances went up quite a bit, and we didn’t pay in as much as we should have for my income, so we get to make that up in one hefty check this year. Oh well, we have a little in the bank, so that should cover it. We just won’t be getting a better second car as soon as we would like. We were hoping to get something small for just the two of us that gets a bit better gas mileage and takes us where we need to go. Maybe next fall, if we are careful this summer. 3. I have lots to do, and am a little behind because of the phone call and resting until 10 a.m. this morning, but boy it felt good. Perhaps if I do up a good supper, I will feel better about what it going on. Oh yes, and my list says that I better get to planting the garden seeds. They are purchased already, so might as well get on that. Here are the pictures that I can share from this morning. Maybe I can post something more exciting later.

Sunshine this morning.

Sunshine this morning.

Geese can be seen between the trees up high.

Geese can be seen between the trees up high.

Bird hanging on the tree about the middle of the shot. They were really happy about the warm weather today.

Bird hanging on the tree about the middle of the shot. They were really happy about the warm weather today.

Breakfast on the east side deck.

Breakfast on the east side deck.

Tigee heading back to the house.

Tigee heading back to the house.

Sophia cannot sit still and pose for anything.

Sophia cannot sit still and pose for anything.

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