Friday, April 7, 2017

April Rain Breaks

My usual "It's snowing!" proclamation early on the morning of Saturday, April 1st, did not elicit surprise this year. The way our weather has been, it would be no surprise if it had snowed again. But it had not. In fact, it was dry enough, after several mostly rain-free days, that I finally got the second buck pen cleaned because I could finally drive the EZ Go into the buck paddock without getting it stuck in the mud. Sunday morning, I recleaned the first buck pen as it was a mess again. When bucks stay indoors all the time because of the incessant rain, pens get mucky.

But Sunday afternoon was only marginally misty so we drove up Agency Creek Road to check on the nearby clearcut we can hear happening from our farm... and to survey Dippers, of course. I found a little side trail I had not been on before at one of our Dipper stops. It led to a lovely little waterfall flowing into Agency Creek.

The trail was decorated with wood violets... and sunshine!

Farther on we found a Dipper preening itself on an island in the stream. We found a total of seven Dippers this day.

Back home that evening, we made pizza. It was so colorful I took a photo of it. And pretty tasty, too.

Monday is Qi Gong day for me every week. This week my Qi Gong partners came to our farm to practice outdoors in the rare sunshine. We also threw feathers into the air for the swallows to catch and stuff into their nest boxes. I love playing the "feather game" with the Tree and Violet-green swallows each spring. Neighbor kids like to come and play, too... when it isn't raining. In the dry afternoon, I mowed the lawn and arboretum paths, knowing the rains would return soon.

Tuesday was to be the last dry day for a while, so I drove to the coast to do my first Bob Straub Park beached bird survey. I found no beached birds but did find eagles by the mouth of the bay. If you look closely at the third photo below, you may be able to see the white head and tail on either side of a black body -- an eagle perched in a tree below this huge house on the far side of the bay. You can tell from the first photo that I am a long way from that eagle and the bay.

Here is the eagle closer and very blurry.

Then I saw another eagle flying along the bay and landing in this same tree. The original eagle took off and flew up the bay in the direction the second eagle had come from. It landed in a tree on the hillside and then disappeared into the wooded hill... I suspect to a nest but have no proof. Yet. I'll be back early May (weather permitting) for another beached bird survey and will check again.

Meanwhile, Johnny, for someone retired, has been doing a lot of odd jobs for friends and neighbors. Plus countless repairs on our farm and equipment. And he opened up our long driveway like it has not been in years. I like driving through a tunnel of trees and bushes but it *has* been getting to be a rather narrow tunnel...

And now it is Friday, wet and blowing like crazy outside so I'm inside, working in the greenhouse, writing this blog, and trying to get my Still Life in the Goat Lane book together, the third and last in my Goat Lane series. Brave Johnny drove to town on this rainy, blustery day for various errands. 

The rains have returned, but I have faith there will be more rain breaks in April for outside work and play... and photos.

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