Friday, April 18, 2014

Osprey in Green Lake Wisconsin

I'm not going to write a lot of information about the beautiful Osprey.  The internet has all that, but seeing them in person is amazing.  One of our neighboring communities has an Osprey nest on top of one of the spotlights on their baseball diamond.  It is a big nest, and this is the third year they have nested in this spot.  Apparently the lights of the ball diamond doesn't bother them.   We stopped by this week, but I didn't see the bird.  It was a dreary rainy day so the bird was either snuggled down in the nest or out looking for food. This is a link for the Osprey cam.

They also have a Facebook page.

This is the nest we saw on April 14, 2014,  but there was no Osprey in sight.

This photo was taken by a member of the Green Lake Conservancy this Spring.

We have seen Osprey in the trees outside our windows but they are pretty illusive, and I haven't gotten a good photo yet.  A year ago I blogged a picture and that is as good as I can get so far.  Click on the link below to see the April 8, 2013 blog post.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The "400"

I wasn't sure what to write today.  It is Throwback Thursday, it would have been my Mom's 90th birthday today and it is my 400th blogpost.  I decided to incorporate all of them.

Our family picture from 1951.  Mom and Dad are 27 years old.
Dad is holding my baby sister and I'm in front of mom.

My mom was born on April 17, 1924.  She was the ninth of ten children.  Her mother died when she was only thirteen years old.  Most of her siblings had gone off on their own so that left her younger brother and herself to run the household and help take care of her grandmother.  Her father worked on the railroad and would be gone from dawn to dusk.  When she was ready to attend high school there was no high school nearby.  They had to rent a room in town, and she would live there all week.  She would go home on the weekend.  No wonder she grew up to be such a strong person and very protective of her family.  When she graduated from high school, she worked until until she met my dad and got married.

Mom with her mom in 1926.  They died on the same day 74 years apart.

This being my 400th blog it reminded me that Mom worked in Milwaukee for a while and lived with a friend.  She also had a sister and a brother who lived there.  To get to Milwaukee they took the train.  The passenger train they took was called the "400".  The train was named the 400 because it could travel the 400 miles from Chicago to Minneapolis/St. Paul via Milwaukee in 400 minutes.  I heard about them taking this train a lot when I was growing up.  To make the trip so quickly, the train had very few scheduled stops.  This was before the interstate system and a car trip from Central Wisconsin to Milwaukee was a major trip.  The train was a major form of transportation.

The railroad track is abandoned now.  A bike trail has been constructed along the old railroad bed.  It is called the 400 bike trail and runs from Reedsburg, Wisconsin to Elroy, Wisconsin.   It is a wonderful place to hike or bike.  We need to return soon.  It's been five years since we have been there.

This was Mother's Day 2009.  It was so cold that day that  we had to bundle up. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Northern Shoveler's and Ring-necked Ducks On Our Pond

We had two different duck breeds show up after the snow on Sunday night.  I saw them earlier this Spring but they were too far away to get a photo.  One was a Northern Shoveler and the other a Ring-necked Duck.  Each are very pretty ducks.  We have another breed out there today but I haven't identified it yet.

The pair on the right are a male and female Northern Shoveler and the others are Ring-necked Ducks.

Male Northern Shoveler photo came from the Cornell Lab site.

These are the Northern Shoveler ducks.  Notice the wider bill which looks like a shovel.

Ring-necked Duck photo also came from Cornell Lab of Ornithology

I took a video of the ducks.  I need some practice with videos.  My jerky motions have to be controlled better, and the sound is so sensitive that any little sound is heard.  I also should be editing out some of the video with much nothing going on.  Hopefully my next video will turn out better.

In addition to the ducks, more birds are returning to their springtime stomping ground.  This is a Rufous-sided Towhee.

Rufous Sided Towhee

And then there is the Mourning Dove.  They stay all winter but must also think it is time for Spring.   This one has some nesting material in it's beak and is getting ready to build a nest.

Mourning Dove

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

It's Tuesday and it's recipe day.  I won't be posting any recipe with rain, snow or cold in the title.  We have had enough of that this week.  I wasn't sure what recipe to choose, but then I remembered an easy Pot Pie I made last week.

It isn't pretty but tastes good.  My pie crust was in the freezer so long it was
brittle.  I just pieced it together, and it worked out fine.

Chicken Pot Pie

2 frozen pie crusts
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut in small pieces
2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
1 tub of Philadelphia garlic cooking creme

Cook the chicken pieces until the chicken is done and slightly browned.
Add the frozen mixed vegetables and cook for another two minutes until they are unthawed and heated.
Stir in the cooking creme.

Spoon the mixture into a one of the crusts (to save calories you can spoon into a pie pan without a bottom crust).

Cover with a top crust.  Crimp edges and cut slits in the crust to vent the steam.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

You can use 3 cups of cut up rotisserie chicken mixed with mixed vegetables and cooking creme to make it even easier.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Do April Showers Bring?

If April showers bring May flowers then we should have a boatload of beautiful flowers in a month.  I know, you expected me to say "and then what do Mayflowers bring?  Pilgrims".  I have grandchildren, and I know some of those riddles.  Seriously, we have had a lot of rain in the last two days.  Nobody seems to mind.  I even saw a guy mowing the lawn in the rain.  I saw people raking and acting like it wasn't even raining.  I think people are so grateful that it isn't snowing, and it is washing all the remnants of winter away.  We even had thunder and lightning.  That is a sure sign of a spring/summer storm.  We had two summers without any rain in our rain barrels.  Hopefully this year will be different and the drought will be over.  Of course, we had Spring flooding before and very little rain all summer.

We are having some minor flooding this year but not near as much as other years.

The ducks and birds don't even notice the rain.  They just go about their business just like the people I saw today who were raking, biking and mowing.

Even a rainy day is pretty in it's own way.

It's still raining tonight, but tomorrow it's supposed to clear up.