Sunday, February 19, 2017

Signs of Spring ...

or, it could be signs that everyone is more than ready for Spring.
Especially at one of the local banks.

This is one of the older homes in the area that I love.
I love the windows and doors of the older two-story homes, but my knees and ankles don't like the idea of stairs anymore.

One of my craft mediums this month... sculpty clay.

This is a rock I found a few years ago that I thought looked like a dinosaur or dragon egg. It recently cracked off more of it's "shell" and I want to believe it is just previous damage and not an indication that it could actually have been an egg of some sort. Regardless, I think I'm going to find a template for a baby dragon hatching and paint it, maybe even using some sculpty clay to give it a little 3D. (like one of [these] or [this])

Lucy? You got some 'splainin' to do!!!!

Remember this picture? It was taken in mid-November.
This one, same spot, today.
The auger he got to drill a hole in the ice to fish has about a 3+ foot blade on it, and it took him almost 45 minutes to get through the ice.

It occurred to me today how much birch bark resembles winter...

Moss amazes me. It can be buried under several feet of snow for months, and then as soon as it melts it looks like it just sprouted that morning. Another cool thing I learned about moss this weekend was that it is a favorite munchie of "[water bears]." I never even knew these fascinating little animals existed until I read an article in the February 2017 issue of the local Bottom Line News & Views. 
In the article, the Cable (Wisconsin) Natural History Museum's newest curator found a water bear on re-hydrated lichen growing on a tree in the museum's backyard. Sort of like finding a needle in a haystack, and just as exciting.

The Spring 2017 "what-do-you-think-this-is" games have begun. I spotted these coming up in the garden area by the front door. I suspect they might be peonies, but too early to tell.  We are expecting rain and warm (in the upper 50's) weather this week, but snow and freezing again next week again. Hopefully, there will be a significant snow melt before the upcoming freeze and snow that will give spring plants a chance to get a solid start, and the cold weather won't be as severe as expected.

Finally these.
David didn't have any luck ice fishing today, so before we hummed Taps we entertained Lucy with her own personal koi pond for a little while. She wasn't quite sure what to think about the minnows since she'd never seen live fish before. Or for that matter, dead fish either. But she was sufficiently entertained (at least managed to keep four feet on the ground and not in the ceiling), so I will eventually get her a floor level fish tank


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday drive about ...

Ondossagon Public School broke ground in 1917, and their first graduating class was in 1919.
The school closed in 1991.

If I say that the long, cold winters can make people crazy up here, I'm not exaggerating.
On Sundays this month, and I think until it gets warmer in early March, there are races on Chequamegon Bay. "ON" the bay. Sort of like a demolition derby on ice.
We walked out to watch for a few minutes, but the wind cut like a knife at more than 20mph with gusts up to 35. It was probably 20 minutes of being back in the car with the heat on full blast before I could feel my eyeballs again.

Yesterday the temperature warmed up enough to put a melt on the top of the snow, and then it froze again overnight. The resulting effect made the snow look as if it was satin.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday ...

 A snowy sunrise on the way to church this morning. 
I might have mentioned this already, but I'm sorta over the whole snow thing now and ready for some spring sunshine, colorful flowers, and warm. Warm would be nice. Flowers would be nice too. The whole monochromatic black and white scenery is just a little bit overdone.

 An update on one of Gracie's kittens. 
Queen Sheba has her own castle to live in. 
Lucy is a little bit jealous (and so am I).

It's official.
Charlie is now our forever dog.
Can you tell how happy he is?
Head over heels.
Us too.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

mini mystery ...

I found these tracks in the fresh snow when I got home from work tonight.
 A deliberate dive under the snow!
 I think maybe a vole?
An interesting note to the Wikipedia article: 

A recent study into the behavior of voles, Microtus ochrogaster specifically, found that voles comfort each other when mistreated, spending more time grooming a mistreated vole. Voles that were not mistreated had levels of stress hormones that were similar to the voles that had been mistreated, suggesting that the voles were capable of empathizing with each other. 

This type of empathetic behavior has previously been thought to only occur in animals with advanced cognition, such as humans, apes, and elephants.