Saturday, April 15, 2017

Waking Up From Winter

Today is the Saturday before Easter.  It is one of the warmest days we have had in a long time.  Everything is waking up and getting active.  I get up pretty early.  Today I was up by 6:00.  I paddled into the kitchen and warmed up a cup of the bone broth I drink first thing in the morning.  As I sat down to drink it, I saw all kinds of activity.  The wood ducks were in the trees again.  It must be part of their breeding ritual.  The tree swallows were busy examining the birdhouses to determine which one they want to nest in.  I have only seen two bluebirds this year.  It is very late for them, and I wonder what is going on.*  So far, the tree swallows have whichever birdhouse they want.  For the past several days I have seen a Red Fox in the morning and again at night.  I hope she will raise her pups nearby.  She is very timid.  I can take photos of the deer through the window and they don't even notice, but the fox notices every little movement.  She hopped up on the table where I usually feed corn to the deer.  I don't know what she thought was up there, but as soon as she sensed me in the window she jumped down and hid.

A little later I saw a sandhill crane walking near the waters edge.  I notice that this one had preened herself with mud.  When they first return in March they have gray feathers.  Then after they preen themselves with the sandy mud we have around here, their feathers turn to a reddish brown color. 

Next I saw a Pileated woodpecker.  It was making a loud racket so I followed it outside and saw it up in one of our tall trees.  It has been here a lot today.

By this time my husband had gotten up.  He usually sleeps in a little longer than me and misses all that goes on in the early morning.  It's fortunate I take a lot of pictures for him to see.  Then he lounges around and has to read all the depressing news that happened.  By this time, I am getting antsy.  I have been up forever and want to go somewhere or get something done.  Finally after walking into the room several times and sighing, he gets the message.  He asks where I want to go and naturally I don't know.  I just know I don't want to stay home.  Next thing you know, he is heading out to the car and we have a little outing.  Sometimes it's only the grocery store or gas station, but it's a change of scenery.

Today we found two new places to go.  Just like the animals coming out of hibernation, we got our Jeep out too.  We also need to get moving after a long winter.  We are getting old and who knows how long we will be able to be active.  The first place we went to was a boardwalk through a marsh to Norwegian Bay on Green Lake.  Green Lake is the deepest natural fresh water lake in Wisconsin. 

At first it didn't look like much.  The trail looked a little muddy, and it looked like the trees and brush were removed and shredded,.  The marsh had been burned off and was just showing signs of green returning.  We aren't sure if it was getting too overgrown and they are trying to restore things to how they should be.  Hopefully we can find some answers.  Once we got onto the boardwalk, it was very nice.  The boardwalk ended at the lake.  The view was beautiful.  There was also an osprey nest nearby.

Since this boardwalk wasn't very long and we had only put on 1700 steps on our fitbits, we moved onto another trail we hadn't walked on before.  This one was called the Sunnyside trail.

The woods next to this trail were also cleared and the ground was cluttered with shredded wood from the tree removal.  We didn't know how long the trail was, but we went anyway.  We thought it would make a big U-shape and come out at another point on the road.  We were wrong.  It made a huge circle with no way out except the way we entered.  We saw lots of birds including a big eagle that flew over.   The turtles were out sunning themselves.  They were all lined up on some logs.

We were pretty hot and tired by the time we found our way back to the car.  We hadn't taken any water because we didn't think it would be that far.  My husband wanted to ease into this exercise thing gently, but as it turned out he got a good workout.

Now we are home and it's time for me to prepare for tomorrow.  We are having brunch at our daughters house, but I volunteered to bring a few things.  Tomorrow is supposed to be another beautiful day.  Perfect for an egg hunt and brunch.  We will probably eat all the calories we burned today plus a few more.  My husband, being the competitive person he is, is outside raking.  He can't fool me.  He wants to hit 10,000 steps today because he knows I won't.  He's right, with all the walking I did today,  I still only have 8,255.  Oh well, it's still pretty darn good.

*Update:  Early Easter morning, a few hours after I posted this blog,  the bluebirds returned.   They are busy looking over the birdhouses.  Why they were delayed, I will never know.  I'm just glad they are back.

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