Baldies

This summer has been amazing for eagle watching. With the Mississippi becoming cleaner, eagle numbers have skyrocketed in my neighborhood, and the nest a couple blocks away had us spoting these birds almost every day. But during the fall and winter almost all of the wildlife I see during the summer become harder to spot, so I was pretty excited to see a full grown bald eagle swoop down into the road right in front of my house yesterday. It was probably picking up a squirrel – during the fall the squirrels get so crazy about their nuts they get hit by cars right and left, making meals pretty easy for the other animals. Anyway, I followed it into a tree, and got some pictures, although it was really hard to find. I hadn’t noticed before how perfectly their feathers blend in to the brown of the tree trunks and the gray of the winter sky.

We also had our first decent snow fall. Not just a flurry – the snow’s still hanging around, but I don’t know how long that will last.

Spring is Sprung!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on this page, but here I am!

Winter this year has been incredibly mild – at this time last year I was up to my knees in snow!

But this year spring showed up so quickly no one even had to time to hang their coats up.

Anyway, spring is here, and these are the signs:

  • First barge on the Mississippi river.  You can hear them blowing their horns at night.
  • A cardinal moved in to the yard – and hasn’t shut up since.
  • My dog’s nose is turning black again (it turns pink during the winter).
  • Dairy Queen is open! (Need I say more?)
  • Our maple tree has refused to yield even the tablespoon of sap that we usually get (we really had no tree-tapping season at all this year, it was so warm).
  • All the cars have their windows down and the convertibles have their tops off.
  • Baby buggies roll down the street all day long.
  • Beautiful flowers are blooming on bushes around the neighborhood, but invariably die when I try to bring them inside and put them in a vase.
  • There’s also this beautiful yellow bush that is in bloom everywhere, and at first I thought it was a golden rain tree (laburnum), but the flowers aren’t quite right. Here’s a picture – any ideas?

 

Leaf Art

Oaks don’t turn any brighter in the fall. Just a dull brown.

The trees have dropped most of their leaves now, & it’s interesting to see all the shapes and colors nature comes up with.

The leaves end up in the most interesting shapes. I found these two stuck together.

 

Elms turn an orange/yellow color. They’re one of the most common trees.