It's not often we get an extra day (only every four years, in fact), but this Leap Day brought weather we all could have done without: tornadoes in the east, snow/sleet/rain/wind here. But that wasn't much different from our weather of the previous week. Many a morning we have looked out to this scene:
We did have one good day weather-wise two days before Leap Day. Johnny and I spent it on the last-of-the-year North Santiam Raptor Route. There weren't many raptors but there was pretty scenery with snow low in the Cascade mountains.
Although too far for anything but a fuzzy photo, these two eagles, perched in a tree by the North Santiam River, were the highlight of our route. They were probably the same pair we saw the month before, a few miles farther east.
After the route (and supper in Salem, Johnny's favorite part), we had a pretty wonderful raptor experience on Farmer Road near Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Short-eared Owls flew about near the road, like giant moths in their fluttery flight. More photos are on my Bird Blog: http://lindafink-birdnotes.blogspot.com/2012/02/short-eared-owls.html
Perhaps because all our rainy, gray weather has prevented the solar fence charger from putting out much juice, several days have been Bad Horse Days, when Jessie Anne and her daughter Nightingale break through the white tape supposedly-electric fence and hang out on the other side until I come to feed in the morning. They cannot seem to break back through the other direction so stand by the "gate" and wait for me to let them in, as Jessie Anne is doing here.
This morning, the first day of March, we woke again to snow.. and very icy roads. But we also had sunshine! Neither the snow and ice nor the sun lasted long on our farm. In the afternoon, the rain returned. March has begun as February ended.
But spring is only three weeks away... according to the calendar. And a pair of Hooded Mergansers have taken up residence in our pond, as they do every spring, in time to raise young'uns in one of our wood duck nest boxes. So... it must be almost spring!