Monday, May 6, 2013

Root Beer Float Weather

After a hot day working in the sun, I like to fix myself a Root Beer float with our home-made goat milk ice cream. But usually that happens in the summer not in the first week of May. We went from a hard frost on May 1st to mid-80's a few days later. Here's the view out the back door on the morning of May 1st. It was 28 degrees. That day reached the 70s and it's been going up ever since.

  I weed and mow and water. Then I weed and water and mow some more.

Of course, it's not all work. I stop to take photos of wild flowers as I see them bloom.


Sessile Trillium

Bleeding Heart

Camas is blooming in many fields in our area, but there was none on our farm when we moved here, so I planted some. It is finally beginning to spread.

 Even the Ponderosa Pines I planted are "blooming" this year.

Of course I take time to admire and photograph birds as they come back from their southern vacations.

Band-tailed Pigeon

Or before they leave for their northern breeding territories.

White-throated Sparrow and Golden-Crowned Sparrow

 And some year-round residents just because they pose.

Northern Flicker

California Quail

 Here the resident California Quail provide a shield for the shy winter visiting White-throated Sparrow.

Our llamas are always ready to pose, it seems, as I walk by with my camera.

One day near the end of April I took off entirely to tour the farm and visit with friend Ruth from California. Here she is watching a pair of Canada Geese on our portion of Agency Creek.

Once a week, usually on Sunday, my "day of rest", I try to look for Dippers up Agency Creek. Yesterday, May 5, the creek was as low as I've ever seen it. Usually this scene below, at "The Chutes", is under water.

With the water this low, as it usually does not get until the end of a very dry summer, The Chutes earns its name.

This is how Johnny likes to watch for Dippers... with his eyes closed and stretched out in the sun.

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And here is one of the Dippers on my route, keeping guard near the nest at "Waterhole 11".

 On one of my Dipper survey treks, I nearly stepped on this well-camouflaged frog by the bank. I think it is a Northern Red-legged Frog.

We don't just work and survey Dippers. One day last week, I took off to volunteer at a horse show. Another day Johnny and I took baby goats to visit our friends in a care center. Most of the time, though, I mow and weed and water. Johnny works hard, too, mowing the more treacherous areas, repairing fences and equipment, building feeders, etc., and rebuilding when I change my mind or something doesn't work the way I thought it would.

My latest project for Johnny is creating a stand for the sundial that was my grandfather's, then my mother's, and now mine. On it are the words,
                                                             GROW OLD
                                                       ALONG WITH ME
                                                  THE BEST IS YET TO BE 

I think that means it's root  beer float time.

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