Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Day of Spring!

It's official, today is the first day of Spring 2012, the Vernal Equinox. Throw off your winter coats and revel in the lengthening days... or at least look forward to it feeling less like Winter. The weatherman has forecast rain today with a high temperature of 46 F and a low of 39 F. I'll welcome Spring's arrival, but I'm ignoring March and looking forward to April when the Skagit Valley tulip fields are awash in color and our daytime temperatures might stay above 60. 

For now I'll keep my coat handy and my umbrella too, for a stroll around the yard to exhort the spring flowers to ignore the rain and keep those blooms a'coming.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Set the Clock Back? No! Forward

It's that time of year again, time to lose an hour of sleep as we set the clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Time to fool the body clock into thinking it's time to wake up an hour earlier. My brain will not be fooled by this clock adjustment. 

Mother Nature is doing a number on us at the same time. It seems to happen every year. The cherry blossoms are out,

the daffodils are in full, glorious bloom,

the clematis is sending out shoots and climbing up its trellis,

even the Asian pear trees are setting buds,

while the TV weather folks keep talking about the possibility of more snow. Nature's idea of a joke, perhaps? Tantalizing us with promises of Spring and then dropping another dusting of Winter snow? I revel in this wild transitional weather, as long as there are a few days of sunshine thrown into the mix.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Neighborhood Thief

This little critter may look cute and harmless, but don't be taken in by his innocent appearance. He's a thief at heart, a bad guy twice over who shows no signs of remorse for his past misdeeds. Oh no, instead he's back casing the grounds daily looking for new opportunities.

I used to scare him with a toy squirt gun, chase him out of the nearby vine maple in the courtyard, away from that tempting suet feeder. It was a hopeless effort of course, but he did learn to scamper away when he saw me move toward the door. Then one day he boldly stole the whole suet block, metal cage and all. No, I didn't catch him in the act, but he was the most likely culprit. The flickers and downy woodpeckers were certainly not suspects.

Sigh. I walked to the Seward Park Audubon Center and invested way too much money in a large seed feeder that was advertised as "squirrel proof". Imagine that, just the thing to confound my pesky squirrel. I gleefully hung the new feeder on the same branch in the same tree as the missing suet feeder. Gotcha, Mr. Squirrel.

Sigh. Now that feeder is gone too. I'm left with a 10-pound bag of birdseed and no feeder to put it in. Damned cheeky rodent! I do have to admire his go-gettum attitude... just a little. Be on the lookout in your neighborhood, I'm encouraging him to move on.