Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do cats really care about condos?

I bought a small cat condo for Hops and Barley today.  It was on sale and fits perfectly in front of the side window by the front door.  Barley gave it a look over when I brought it in the house...
 but since then they have been ignoring it.  

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bluebirds of Happiness

The feeders and yard were busy with birds on Sunday.  It was a sunny day, with a little breeze and the birds were having a big time.  I had been hoping to have bluebirds in the yard this spring and was excited to see a pair scoping out the yard.  Whether they will move into one of the many clean birdhouses in the backyard remains to be seen, but I am hopeful.
Since they are not feeder eaters, it is not so easy to get a clear shot of these beauties.
Maybe if I buy some grubs and put them on the feeder, I might entice the bluebirds to the feeders.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My First Trip to Crex Meadows

On Friday, I stopped at the Visitor's Center at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Grantsburg, WI.  I have been reading a  blog about Crex and am so impressed with the pictures that are posted there.  My cousin Paul is a Department of Natural Resources employee in that general area, and I have heard about all the amazing birds that migrate in and out of the area.  So, I decided it was time to at least know where it is.   
I got a map from the Visitor's Center and asked the attendant about a short trip I might take on the way home.  She told me that Phantom Lake Road was my best bet.  So off I went...

There is still a little ice on this lake, and a couple of geese were stretching there legs.  But, it won't be long before the walking will be over on this body of water.

I was pretty delighted to see these two Sandhill Cranes.  I had seen a few in the air around the area so I knew that some had started migrating.  They were pretty far away and I suppose this is more fuel for the idea that I need a more powerful camera lens.

A little farther along I could see this guy sitting out on the ice.  I know it's hard to tell, but it is a bald eagle.  Now wouldn't it have been nice to have a bigger lens and get a great shot of him sitting out there 'cooling his heels', Ha!

There were many, many geese in the area, but these two were having a little alone time.

Everything is pretty brown right now, but I can imagine how pretty it will be in this area once spring is here and everything gets green again.

I had asked at the Visitor's Center if the road was gravel (in my mind delineating between gravel vs paved).  The answer I got was...more or less, which I thought was pretty vague, thinking, well it either is or isn't, right? Barely one lane, mostly wonder she was vague.

I would guess that some of the geese are nesting out in those marshy areas.  I'll have to come back when the little ones are afloat.

I started to wonder what the heck I was doing on this road when I got to this part of the trip.  Certainly no room to meet another car.  For my first trip to Crex Meadows, I felt like I got a small introduction to what this Wildlife Area is about and I'm looking forward to a return trip.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Red Sled gets a new mirror

Ryan did a little minor repair to my car on Friday.  I thought the car looked quite spiffy in his shop!

My car looks so great because Ryan detailed it a week ago and hand waxed it too.  Looks like new to me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Red Red Robin

My Western Ash tree has become the home of a hungry robin.  
He's munching on the berries most of the day.  

I read somewhere that these berries kind of 'ferment' over the winter months. 

Perhaps Mr. Robin is just coming by for a nip off and on during the day.

Meanwhile, the cats are catching a few needed zzzzzzzzzzz's.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's a Sign

I do believe that Spring is here, the gold finches are starting to 'yellow up' in time for the dating season.

I've been entertained by the Chickadees for awhile now as they take a seed from the feeder and then fly to a branch where they crack the seed.  Seems like so much work for so little payoff.  Soon the chickadees will have some competition as the other birds return.  
I did get all the bird houses cleaned out for new tenants, and I will be looking for some of them to be returning soon.  It would be swell to get a pair of bluebirds in the yard this year.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Red Cedar River Trail

I walked on the North bound trail again today, this time I was determined to go to the end of the trail.
It's a pretty trail that follows very close to the river in many places.
Some bird, I am guessing Pileated Woodpecker, had really been working this tree over, even a pile of sawdust at the bottom.
This is a amphitheatre, part of the University.  Not sure what goes on here, but I'll have to pay attention, maybe an outdoor concert?

This big tree caught my attention, I have not discovered it's name yet, but it's a beauty.
Along the path are several picnic tables and a few benches.
The trail runs on the West side of the University Buildings and there is a frisbee golf set up as well.
The kids are on spring break this week, I am guessing that once they are back there will be some action on the deck.  
There is also a pavillion on the trail.  You can see it ahead.  A nice brick shelter.
And her is another one of those magnificent trees, this one is huge, almost twice as high as the surrounding oaks and maples.
I am sure glad to have finally taken the time to walk this trail.  All of these photos were taken with my Blackberry but I think I'll want to take my Pentax along on a walk one of these days and see what I can find to photograph along the river.

Fun Photos

Well, I found another way to have a day slip away from me! This website (  is a hoot. Here are a few of my creations.
Kyle & Glenn
Emily and Addie
Emily and Addie

Monday, March 22, 2010

Luck Golf Course

Yesterday I was in Luck for a birthday party.  On the way back to Rice Lake I stopped and took this photo of the Luck Golf Course.  If the weather stays this nice, I would expect to see golfers there before long.
I might have to check out the driving range at LynnDale's Golf Course in Rice Lake.  I didn't swing a club at all last summer, hope to play a little this year though.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A walk along the Red Cedar River

I took a walk on The Red Cedar Trail today. It was a beautiful March day in Rice Lake. The trail follows The Red Cedar River and it is a nice quiet trail.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lunch with Owen & his pals

I went to Luck today so Ryan could detail my car. One of the many services available at Johansen Auto Body. While Ryan was working on my car, I had a visit with Gus and Lois. Owen was coming to Grandma's for the afternoon, so we took him along to lunch downtown Luck. He's quite a character, complete with imaginary friends and many many stories about lions and alligators. It is great to be 2!
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Forest Lives!

I am delighted to report that my balsam fir babies that I planted last spring seem to have come through the winter in fine form.

My ash tree though has some serious moss, maybe it just needs a little sunshine to peel some of that off.  In the meantime, that moss is kind of pretty in a way.
 I don't suppose I'll have the ash trees very many more years anyway if the ash borer beetle continues it's march Eastward.

I saw the first robin of the spring this afternoon in my backyard.
You know what that means....Dairy Queen!
Little does this spring bird know, that now we must go to Dairy Queen to celebrate his arrival!
This spring tradition was told to me by my niece Kaija, and I would never question her wisdom.
Welcome back!


You might remember that last year, just as my amaryllis was about to bloom, the cats knocked it down and ruined my fun.  
This year, the cats seem to want to sleep instead of ruin my plants, yippee for that!
I put the bulbs outside all summer and am now rewarded with this beauty.
It feels like Spring!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Two Colorado Snaps

I spent Thursday, 3/4, with Laila at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver, which is on the East side of downtown.  This was the view from the Family Room near her luxury suite (ha) at the hospital.

I drove up to Kittredge (in the foothills) on Saturday morning to have breakfast with friends Dave & Suzi.  Snapped this on the way back to Denver.  Didn't mess with my SLR camera on this trip, but my Samsung point and shoot still does a good job.

Nope, no pictures of Laila's incision, although I do have one and did threaten.  She's doing great, seems to be on track for a good recovery.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Internet Trash - Ooops I clicked when I should not have

Recently I got a request from a good friend to be a friend on something called Live Health Club.  Today, I clicked on it to see what it was about.  I started the sign up process but then just closed the web page as I decided I was not interested.  I was not aware that it was sending an invite to my whole address book, so I believe that most everyone in my address book has now received an invite to be my friend on LIVE HEALTH CLUB.  

Bummer, I hate this kind of internet junk and could kick myself for falling for it.  Please delete it and I apologize for inconvenience

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spooner Parking Dudes

I am meeting Glenn and Kathy at Spooner for WIAA Boys Basketball Division 4 semifinals.
The parking dudes were entertaining!
This is a new school / gym, lots of history in the old one, but this looks like a very nice place for basketball!
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Outta Gas

Travel wears me out.  I loved that it was raining while I napped and relaxed with the kitties.  Hopefully I'll rebound after another night in my own bed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It was a foggy drive from MPLS back to Rice Lake tonight, but I made it safely.  It is good to be home.  
Laila is better and better each day.  The surgeon took 27 staples out of her incision today.  I told her that should be her new lucky number. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is it Spring yet?

I got an idea for a cold frame garden box when I was at Costco today. I think I have enough scraps from the deck to build one of these.
Laila is better but still has several weeks of healing ahead. I am headed home to RL tomorrow.

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