Category: walking down Wester Ave.

Mother’s Day flowers

Daffodils in the spring sunshine.
Daffodils shining in the spring sunshine and waving in the soft breeze. I planted 55 more daffodil bulbs this spring.
Hothouse flowers, a bouquet for mothers.
Hothouse flowers, a bouquet for mothers, I guess. I set it down on the floor in the sunshine by a glass door.
Love these clouds.
Love these clouds, a different kind of bouquet of color. This was taken May 3rd, now some green is starting.
Brightly yellow even if clouds block the sun daffodils.
Brightly yellow even if clouds block the sun, more daffodils.

You are an image in my mind, a stop action photo

I see you there and there, doing this, sitting there.

I remember…


Melting, melting, streams, snow going

We can see ground! Really wet ground. The last snowstorm was on Friday, melting started on Saturday, melting geared up on Sunday and today whoohoo rivers of melt water.

The areas where there was walking or driving have deep frost and are bumped up, but the other spots seem to have very little because the snow was so deep.

Water rushing out of the fields and into the ditch, lots of water.
Water rushing out of the fields and onto the next level, lots of water. This is just to the south of my outdoor arena.
River of melt water only flows in spring.
River of melt water only flows in spring. It goes down to our neighbor’s driveway – this year it isn’t overflowing their culvert, surprising, but good for them.
Snow path remnants in orchard (these are snowshoe trails)
Snow path remnants in orchard (these are snowshoe trails)
Dips and rolls in field show up as snow.
Dips and rolls in field show up as snow. There was quite a bit of drifting snow this winter.
Green, we see green!
Green, we see green! Underwater green.

Super-cold returns, we’re coping

Thirty below forecast for Monday night and things are being cancelled. It’s too cold to take the chance on travel, especially when it’s optional. Things break, break down, freeze up and generally don’t work as well in this kind of weather.

Add 10 inches of snow and you'll know what fetching looked like today.
Add 10 inches of snow and you’ll know what fetching looked like today.

My freeze-free hydrant froze up, so I’m sledding in the water to the horses.  Which, while a hassle, is not a very hard workout since it’s all downhill from the house freeze-free faucet. I have a large black packing sled that can carry two really big, clean muck buckets two-thirds full (fill them deeper and water sloshes all over – sloshing not good in cold weather).

The snow is over knee-deep so I used my snowshoes to start packing in a straight trail (no need to add any extra distance pulling the loaded sled).

The horses are going through hay at a fast rate and they need plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Basically they look good and seem happy, this next polar blast though makes me worry about the stress on the older ones.

In our house, heated by cost ever-rising (went up $1.39 per gallon last week) and more unavailable propane (200 gallon rationing), we have closed off rooms, added insulation over the sliding door and turned down the heat. A local propane distributor has suggested that electric heat may be the best option, however if everyone using propane has to go to electric…

It snowed today again and the wind was very blustery. The snow piles look like the old-time photos – very tall. At least the snow is insulating my perennials. The indoor forced bulbs are torquing out.

I do remember some other very cold winters with stretches of super cold, but I’m starting to wish for spring. Or maybe a trip south.

White pine – natural winterland decor

I live in the land of evergreen giants flocked by frozen fog and snowflakes and framed by a clear blue sky.

Taylor County is the southern-most county in Wisconsin with national forestland. The edge of a glacier, the soils, the climate caused many farmers to try and fail and lose their land for lack of paying taxes with the land becoming federal forestland.

We are a county where grass (hay) and trees grow best. And since lumber was king, sawyers cut and cut down the giants, not many remain. The Gerstberger white pines near Rib Lake were one of the last virgin stands in the area, but age has ravaged them so more of them have died and fallen than remain reaching above the surrounding deciduous trees.

Across Castle Road from us, there were three giants, but fear of lightning strikes drove the owners to cut down two of them (the fear was justified – being tall in a lightning storm has disadvantages, the pines had been struck several times). One remains and it was glorious this  cold frosty morning (Christmas Eve day 2013).

This pine is about 100 years old, its trunk about 3 feet in diameter.
This pine is about 100 years old and almost 100 feet tall, its trunk about 3 feet in diameter.
This white pine towers over all the other trees in the area, frosted with chilled fog.
This white pine towers over all the other trees in the area, frosted with chilled fog.
The apple trees in the foreground are 20 feet tall. The spruce and high-line are about 40 feet tall.
The apple trees in the foreground are 20 feet tall. The spruce and high-line are about 40 feet tall.

Big, old trees are so cool. Sure, we don’t have sequoias or redwoods, but the old oaks, maples, and white pines have presence and I’m in awe. This is much better than light strings and plastic icicles on a fake tree (see all those trimmed pines in the background – yes that is a Christmas tree plantation).

Pastel Morning – fickle sky

Pastel morning – fickle sky by Jeanine Renzoni

Fluffy snow fell overnight and the gods of color offered up pinks, peach and blues this morning. It was a balmy 11 degrees and rising so I headed back into the house for my camera.

The morning sky and colors change so fast, I lost much in my brief traverse. Then as I walked up and down the gravel, snow-covered road the clouds came in gray and broke up and finally overtook the blue, turning into a breezy, solid gray with light snow again.

Gun fire a block away – it’s deer season again in Wisconsin

English: White-tailed deer
English: White-tailed deer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orange coat, no white (check), stay in yard or go to town (check), orange vest on dog (check), and horses in close pasture (check), all for the joys of gun deer season in the country (for the next 9 days).

While city folks cheer on the onslaught of north traveling deer hunters (read those dumb guys with money to spend who become rugged outdoorsmen for a weekend), those of us non or ex-hunters who live in the pseudo-wilds are less enthused. Basically we suffer house-arrest or chance becoming a statistic.

Our error is in not profiting from the ‘Hunting Heritage’ (hear this in a God-like echoing surround sound voice). This year new hunters can get a license to shoot at deer for a mere $5  or even I could be included since it’s been more than 10 years since I had a license – all to support the ‘Hunting Heritage,’ but of course you still need orange clothes, a gun, ammunition, a place to stay, food, booze, a place to hunt, a tree stand, some buddies who know how to hunt, unscent or doe-scent, shooting practice, trail camera(s) and on and on.

A veritable bonanza of tourism just to get rid of an over population of white-tailed deer (26 – 45 deer per sq mile), which would otherwise be smashed on car hoods, eaten by wolves or coyotes or bears, parked in yards eating apples and fields eating corn and denuding all the lower tree growth in local forests. How many deer do you think it might be reasonable to have in a sq mile?

So far this year’s hunt started with a pre-dumping of snow and a first morning of minus 7 degrees. Pretty cold for not used to being outside all that much city-dwelling hunters, who don’t actually need a deer for food for the winter.

;Original title: "Hunting Deer." A d...
;Original title: “Hunting Deer.” A deer hunt near Deadwood in winter ’87 and ’88. Two miners McMillan and Hubbard got their game Two hunters around camp fire; one cooking, other holding carrying a dead deer over his shoulder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I were hunting, I would have slept in, had flavored hot chocolate and maple-syrup blueberry pancakes for breakfast and maybe gone out for noon time deer stalk. Noon is when other early morning hunters head in (frozen) and so deer might be moving then. Stayed out for a couple hours of reclining in multi-layered comfort in the sun (out of the breeze) and then get back inside for evening hot meal (chili) and heated alcoholic beverages…maybe a board game or movie.

Since I’m not hunting I did sleep in, skipped the risk of sitting or standing in the random firing range, or falling out of a tree-stand and just enjoy the pancakes, hot apple crisp and we didn’t have chili, we’ve got a pot of turkey vegetable soup, yum.

This season is the latest Wisconsin gun deer season can run so the deer are already out of rut (think testosterone induced stupidity making them not notice orange people with guns). And its really cold, there’s a windchill. And mostly the trend has been hunters spending less and less time hunting. The DNR was forecasting a good hunt based on number of deer, but our ‘Hunting Heritage’ might not be strong enough.

Probably have to throw some more hunting discounts at it and maybe another grant for training and open any area that’s not open for hunting yet (cities and suburbs). Yes I think everyone should enjoy the chance of being mistaken for a deer.

English: A neighborhood in Golden Valley, Minn...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pretty spring morning

“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.”
Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This spring April hasn’t meant much in the realm of ‘change of season’ and anytime can be a beginning.

Sunshine on the new fallen snow, hahaha, more new snow at Wester Ave. in Wisconsin. But it was very pretty and felt kind of springlike this morning mostly because of the bird song and sunlight. Cardinals flashing red in the maple treetops singing their own praise. Mourning doves surprisingly loud and hairy woodpeckers adding the jungle-like squeaks and echoing tree drumming.

“It is a very beautiful day. The woman looks around and thinks: ‘there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this. I did not know until now that clouds could be like this. I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago. I did not know that the wind could be tender, like hands as they caress – what did I know – until now?”
Unica Zürn