Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Firsts and Lasts

This morning, on my cereal,  I had the last of the blueberries that I froze last summer.
This afternoon, I ate my first supper on the back deck, it was a little chilly, but nice just the same.
It feels like summer is just around the corner.

On Monday and Tuesday, I spent the day pressure washing the front, side and back decks.
Today, I put the wicker furniture on the back deck.
The front deck has to wait until I can get a coat of stain on it before it can have furniture.

They're baacckkk

Sunday morning I noticed a pile of poop in the backyard and immediately thought a neighbor dog had paid me a visit, so I decided to see if the Trail Cam had the evidence.
Yes, I found the culprit, but it was not one of the neighborhood dogs afterall.
Oh joy!  The little criminals are back.
Dad and I built these feeder holders to be damage proof for bears,
but they are clearly raccoon friendly.
Looks like they have a buddy system going.
So, now it begins, I am sure the bears are not far behind in making their appearance.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Piano Recital in Spring Valley

Sunday was full of options for me.  
Jack was playing basketball with the traveling team in Minneapolis (and they won all 4 games), 
Alyxis had piano recital in Spring Valley 
and Jack & Gage had their piano recital in Luck.
I decided to go see Alyxis's recital.

Click below to see Alyxis's performance.
The students and teacher Debby.
Alyxis is the tall girl in the blue flowers.
Alyxis and her teacher Debbie.
After the recital, there was a reception with yummy bars.
Kaija was there with her 4 kiddos, Bryce is getting so big I had to get a couple of pictures.
He was busy trying to get Michelle's bracelet away from her.
How can a 9 month old have such a grip?
Who is winning?
After the recital, as we were leaving, Kaija said to her middle girl, Milli, (who is 4), 
"Maybe when you get older like Alyxis you can take piano lessons."
Milli's reply...."I already know how to play many pretty songs."
Andy and Michelle invited me to come for dinner after the recital, they had to do a 5 mile run as part of their marathon training, so I had time to have a visit to Glenn and Kathy's house.
Glenn's cat Honey, she is so sweet.
Then we 3 walked over and had a delicious meatloaf Sunday supper with Andy and Michelle.
Alyxis was staying overnight at a friend's house, so it was just the adults and we really had a nice visit and yummy food.

It was a really nice day for a drive 
and I finished my audio book (The Last Lie by Stephen White) on the way to Spring Valley.
The drive home was uneventful, 
and I started a new audiobook  (Janet Evanovich, Smokin' Seventeen) so the miles went by pretty fast.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I belong to a couple of birders groups on Facebook and often times they list a species as FOY.  First of Year for them usually means FOL (First of Lifetime) for me.
For several days I have been watching a bird moving around in a Mountain Ash tree at the edge of my yard.
I could see it was a woodpecker of some kind, 
and assumed it was a Hairy Woodpecker because of his size.
This is a hairy woodpecker on the left who is giving a lesson on territory to a downy woodpecker
who tried, unsuccessfully, to share the feeder.
But once I got the camera on him, I could see he was a FOY/FOL for me.
A Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.
Probably one of my favorite bird names, but maybe not one of my favorite birds.
As you can see, he is doing some damage to the bark on this tree to get to the sap. 

Yellow bellied sapsucker woodpecker

I sure hope the tree can recover.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Replacement orchid

One of my 3 orchids bit the dust over the winter, so I picked up at new one this week.

Love it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sunny Friday in Rice Lake

It was very sunny today, although the temperature did not get above 60 degrees.  I took my camera for a walk on the Red Cedar Trail here in Rice Lake.
Spring blooms are a real treat, and this big fly seems to be enjoying them as well.
Perfect day to get some sun on the shell for these turtles
I think this is a bittern or a green heron.
I will have to go back and try to get a decent picture though.
May Flowers
Not sure what this is, but looks like it will have a bloom, I'll check on it later.
A really nice trail and only a few folks out walking this afternoon.
Crows love the top branch...the penthouse I suppose
I will have to do some work to identify this guy.
My friend Kathy tells me this is a
Morning Cloak butterfly
Pretty smart about camoflage
Awesome beauty
This guy was busy working on the buds on the trees, working on finding his name too
After much looking through bird book and also using my new What Bird Is It app on my iPad,
I think this is a Yellow Rumped Warbler.
Trail pic
Another bird unknown to me, lots of research to do.
My research makes me think that this is a
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
I enjoyed the walk and will have to go back again soon.

Tulips are coming along

The tulips along the driveway are starting to look great.  The snow they predicted for today did not show, so for that I am very grateful.
As you can see, the dandelions have also made their appearance.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April Fickle Weather

On Saturday after I got back from Luck, I took a few flower photographs in the yard.
Red Admiral butterfly
Most of my yellow tulips are open now.
The red ones are a couple of weeks out.
Wild plum blossom
This morning, after waking up to wind, rain and snow, I took a few more flower pics.
Snow and tulips
Unhappy daffy bud
A little ice on the tulip
Tulip rows along driveway
Snowy daffodils
Hopefully, this is the last of the white stuff until much later this year.
I got 2 hops rhizomes from the Coors folks and I am anxious to get them planted.
I also am going to plant a concord grape vine but the weather needs to warm up considerably before I start any of that activity.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

2012 Dance Recital

Saturday was the dance recital in Luck and we had 5 girls dancing.
Julie Buck is a wonderful photographer and took these pictures of the girls before the recital.
Emily Chivers (Julie Buck Photo / Facebook)

Megan Chivers on stage, 3rd from the right. (Facebook photo)

Megan Chivers (Julie Buck Photo / Facebook)

Stella Johansen on stage (3rd from the right) Facebook photo

Stella Johansen (Julie Buck photo / Facebook)

Angie was one of the 'mom helpers' backstage, here she is with her niece Stella.
(As you can see, we are expecting another baby very soon.)
Elliana and Milena danced also and I am hoping to get some photos of them to add to this posting.
All of the girls are doing so well at dance and improving every year.
I really enjoy seeing them all dolled up in their dance costumes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bird Watching and Dirty Windows

This morning as I was in the living room having coffee, I was delighted to have visits to the feeder by several birds.  I decided to take their photographs from my seat in the living room, even though the windows are in need of washing.
Maybe the spots on the windows add 'interest' to the photos?

Mr House Finch
Mrs. House Finch
Mrs. Cardinal
Mrs. Cardinal
Mr. Cardinal
Mr. Nuthatch
Mrs. Cardinal
On Tuesday, I stopped at the Stein Boatlanding on Rice Lake to see the Ospreys.
I was delighted to see one of the parents fly in as I waited below.

Even with my longest zoom lens, it is hard to get a picture that shows the real size of these birds.
Looks like nest building is in full swing, so eggs will be coming.


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