Sunday, March 17, 2013

Waiting for Spring

I don't know about the rest of you, but my patience level for snow and cold is wearing thin.  I yearn for 45+ degree days with plenty of sunshine and little wind but winter's not quite done with us yet much to my dismay.  I'd wake up early Saturday and head to the transfer station with a couple of scheduled stops in between with one being Howe Pond in hopes for some early Wood Ducks as I had a dream about them earlier in the week so took that as a sign of course!!  The water that was open late Friday was starting to refreeze and the only waterfowl I'd see at first were a couple of lone Mallard's and a handfull of Canada Geese.  I'd scan all the nooks and crannies of the small pond with my binoculars and it wouldn't take me long to find a bird that made me do a quick WTH?

Pardon the lousy shot but the sun was just rising and the bird was all the way across the other side of the pond!  This my friends is one of the Canada Goose x Graylag Goose from over at Brierly and child of Cottontail and who ever it was she shacked up with this past summer!  First time I'd ever seen one of them this close to home and lead me to wonder why this one flies off to explore Millbury while others stay close to home.  I'd make one more stop at Singletary and there would be nothing on the water but was rewarded with the sound of Red-winged Blackbirds which is always welcome this time of the year as I take it as another sign of spring.

The cold weather quickly demotivated me to continue with my unfruitful birding so headed back home to continue my winter hibernation.  It wouldn't take me long to see a new yard bird of the year for me which would be none other than a Common Grackle.  By the time I'd get my camera out it would fly to another house nearby to hang out with the others.

Again, another lousy photo but I'll take it.  Very frustrating though as I always get grackles in my yard as well as Red-winged Blackbirds but they never do me the honors of going into the feeding station for snacks which has always been a goal of mine since the 1st year I started birding.

I'd wake up early Sunday and entertain the idea of going to St Philips to look for Wood Ducks there and would quickly rethink my plan when I saw the weather forecast which called for chilly temps and fierce winds.  One quick look at the Bluejays would tell me that it was indeed both as they had their feathers fluffed in an attempt to keep warm.  Suddenly hibernation again sounded more appealing as I accepted defeat and yearned for spring.

My current nemesis birds which are the European Starling who LOVE the freeze dried mealworms.  So much so I can't put any out as they eat them all but I may put some out Monday night and let everyone have some considering we are supposed to get 6+ inches of snow.  AAAAARRRRRGGGGGG

And my current beacon of spring, Mr. Northern Cardinal himself.  He sings non stop in my back yard (in fact doing it while I type this post) and its lovely.  I'd also be treated to an American Robin joining the cardinal in a duet earlier last week which was wonderful.

And besides that the only other task that has me completely absorbed is my bread baking including my very first sour dough.  Pardon the appearance as I used the wrong shaped bread pan and my scoring skills are awful and didn't realize until yesterday that scoring high hydration bread is an issue even for experienced bakers so I don't feel as bad.  Despite how it looks I have to say it's my best tasting loaf of bread so far and was eaten buy us in less than three days!

If you don't know what scoring is and would like to check out the YouTube link.  This man is incredible and I have serious awe and envy going on when I watch it!

My sourdough with morning coffee and a little bit of my strawberry jam on my nifty eBay Boreal Bird towel I love so much!  Bonus points to anyone who can ID the woodpecker on the left bottom of this picture.  ;-)

A loaf of Irish Soda Bread I made that came out really good but I went a little over board with my scoring for practice which caused it to bake funny.

And my last loaf of bread for the weekend which is the Amish White Bread above and as you can see, I got my scoring down pat on this one!  Wish I could say I loved the bread but it was a little too sweet and heavy for me and prefer the European breads more so this will go in the freezer for French Toast Casserole one morning when I'm feeling up to it.

And last but by no means the least, check out what the Curious Birder somehow acquired which is this nifty pressure canner above, WOOT!!  My water bath canner sprung a leak last week so needed a new one and figured I'd spend a little more money and get this as not only can I use it to water bath can but pressure can too which means I can go to the Farmer's Market this year and buy ton's of green beans, corn, etc and can them to last me the entire year. Not only am I using fresh, high quality ingredients, but  also getting them relatively cheap and will know exactly went into every can which has become a current fixation of mine in my attempt to do most things from scratch including vegetables to last me the year.

Take care all.

1 comment:

Rambling Woods said...

Yes..our pond was open and now is freezing up again..I would love to have woodies on our nesting box but the starlings chase them out...Michelle


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