86 degrees? Somebody is playing a joke on us!

March 24, 2012

I just don’t trust this weather.

After all this is mid-March in mid-Michigan isn’t it?

My thermometer says it is 86.8 degrees outside right now – on March 21, only one day after the first day of spring!

It feels more like July out there and I’m sorry but I just don’t trust  it – Mother Nature is way too fickle for this to last, although it sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?

My magnolia tree thinks it is spring. But then that stupid tree tries to bloom in February sometimes if we get a couple of warm days in a row…

It is really doing it now though. Just take a look at the picture taken just this (Wednesday) afternoon.

But then to see the signs of spring, all you really have to do is look around outside.

The robins are back in force, the rabbits are acting out their usual March madness, the grass is green and growing and the trees, and the bushes along the river – and the lilacs – are  showing tiny green leaves already. My flower beds are even sprouting, although there aren’t any blooms out there yet. But I’ll bet there are flowers blooming in town already.

One sure sign of spring is when the turtles are on the move again. I saw one just a little while ago crossing Washington Road as I was driving into town to pick Alea up from track practice.

They are headed for their favorite places to lay their eggs.  Lisa’s girls and I have stopped a couple of times over the years and helped them make it across safely. Ever try to herd a turtle?

We have a couple of turtles that especially like our little woods on the west side of the house. Each spring a medium sized snapping turtle comes all the way across the yard to take up residence in those woods for a few days. There is also a box turtle that favors the other side of that same little wooded area.

Later on Jack will have to be extra careful when mowing because the babies will be headed for the safety of the river bank. The box turtle has only been coming for about ten years. We have been seeing the snapper each spring for the last 25 years – believe it or not. She is quite a bit larger than she was back around 1989 when we first noticed her. In fact son Dave was determined to make her into soup one spring, but I am glad we talked him out of it.

Those little woods are the home of a lot of wildlife. We have a family of deer that like to spend part of their days hiding out in there. One year, it was the hideout for a tiny spotted fawn. There’s a spring in there so part of the area is wet and part dry. Multitudes of birds nest in the trees, and usually there are raccoons and sometimes even a skunk or two who take up residence out there.

Another spring sign on the other side of the house is when the mallards pair up. We have been seeing quite a few around the bend in the river and under the bridge, always couples looking for the perfect nesting site.

I love watching the wildlife all around the yard in the spring. Jack and I laughed all day Sunday over the antics of a little chipmunk who was determined to empty all the sunflower seeds in the feeder. He would climb up there, stuff those cheeks impossibly full and run all the way around the house to his secret stash under the ramp into our little barn. That’s where Jack stores the seeds so it is pretty funny seeing who will win – Jack filling the feeder or “Chip” emptying it and taking the seeds back to the barn again.

Jack will lift the ramp up later, scoop up the seeds and refill the feeder, if it doesn’t rain. If it does we may have sunflowers growing in front of the barn door this year.

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