Brad's Blog
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April 2, 2018
Happy Easter!

Some of the eggs we dyed and hid up on the ridge yesterday ( lost 2 out of 2 dozen, about average)...
So it's been a long week...  It seems like everyone is scamming, from the unlikely robot calls that happen daily, to the City of Atlanta being held hostage by ransomware (not to mention the government run by looters).  But it hit home last week when my identity on Facebook was spoofed and people on my friends list started getting messages offering to put them onto a S100,000 government grant.  Some of my friends strung them along in great fun, but one, basing it on coming from me, fell for it and ended up  losing $400.  Then my son called and said he had to get a new debit card because his was being fraudulently used (which has happened a couple times to me as well).   I decided to quit Facebook, and go back to devoting more energy to this blog, which has stood the test of time, although I've certainly neglected it in recent years...
So here's an entry to the mildly interesting department:

On the way to the pottery this evening I saw the street light, and noticed the orange nimbus around it.  I didn't  think there was any fog, but apparently there was enough to cause a halo as the photo proves it wasn't just my eyesight...  Also it's not a Chinese space station burning up...

April 4
Another sure sign of spring, along with the flowers emerging,  is the first tick, which I experienced as it was roaming my bedclothes in the middle of the night.  In spite of roaming the deer trails freely every year, I'd guess we experience less than a dozen ticks total, and of them one of them might attach to the skin before being noticed.  With nights still subfreezing the next sign of spring, mosquitoes, is still held at bay...

April 6
I was remarking the other day that you never notice the last snow melting in spring, because you're too busy noting the new birds and flowers.  The snow in gone in town except for the snow plow piles, and when I walked the ridge the other day the seasonal run off creek had dried up for lack of snow.  But yesterday I walked around the back of the mill pond and snow was still 6 inches deep in a lot of that area, which is shaded and sheltered from the sun part of the day.  Then this morning there was a white blanket and more coming, so I guess I can't look to the last snow for a while yet...

April 9
We've gotten about an inch of rain in the last few days, but it didn't rain today and the freezing weather is gone for a while so it is time to start garden plants in our freshly renovated green house.  We added insulation on the north side and a vent on the south side and tried to seal it up so it will endure a 25 degree overnight temp without freezing...   While digging up potting soil from the garden, I noticed a few garlics sprouting that I'd missed last fall so I separated them and added another row of  garlic, a crop that likes to be started in the fall...

Here's a view of the lake--the north facing hills still snow covered: 

 
April 11


Yes, it's spring, but...  Butters and I walked up on the ridge and there were lots of grass widows, buttercups, and even the first yellow bell blooming, but when I looked through the photos I liked this one of Butters best.  It was near the end of the walk, and he loves to roll in snow, so he'd just taken a snow bath, and jumped up and ran toward me grinning and invigorated...

April 15
The hills are alive, with the spring wildflowers (ahhhhhhh)

These are so common that we felt comfortable to pick bunches of them for church...  Grass widows...

It's been raining nearly every day, but after the rain today we walked up breakfast creek...


The runoff is quite awesome, but probably less so when Butters gives you a sense of perspective:


The only flowers we saw in the dark creek bed area were some trillium just opening where we started our journey...

April 18
The weather is warmer and colder but drier, with highs around 50 and lows around freezing...  The first cabbage family plants are up in the greenhouse...  Here's a view of the west end of Spirit Lake yesterday...

  April 19
I would have, and probably should have, taken my camera on a walk this evening, but with clear skies no great sunset was scheduled, and it was already dim enough by 7:15 that the wild flowers would not photograph at their best.  But Butters and I needed the exercise and solace, so we started up the "reverse elven trails," as I have called them, deer trails that fork and meander so that capricious elves seem intent on making you lose your way, or find their way...   (If we start straight up the ridge, and then take the deer trails, that's the regular non-reverse "elven trails")  New flowers were blooming, particularly glacier lilies, and the grass widows have never been so thick, so I'll have to return soon to catch the purple passion...  Up ahead the white flags of 4 whitetails announced their presence and soon absence to me, but not to Butters, who relies more on his nose than eyes for his walking pleasure.  The distant mountains above lake Pend O'Reille lit up dim red with alpen glow as we started back on a trail of Butters' choosing...  The amazing thing about elven trails is that we took a lower trail than usual, but ended up higher on the ridge than usual also.  As we rejoined the familiar main ridge trail, 4 turkeys stood on the edge of a rock precipice, twenty feet away,  capable of flying away easily from us, but opting not to, as Butters didn't notice them...  We finished by going right down the spine of the ridge nearly to the road, where the sunny exposure advances the wild flowers towards the glacier lily phase.  A splendid evening walk...

April 21
It's fun to see the progression this month.  Here's a photo from yesterday showing the grass widows at their height:

You can see the rarer albino version toward the bottom left...

April 23
The photos I took last weekend of the Bluegrass Showcase are at this link April 2018
We don't like Butters at the table when we eat (only butter, singular), so I developed the OUT command, which makes him go away.  But Butters likes to be around when I'm cooking, in case I drop anything good, so he's usually in the kitchen until we're ready to eat.  He's trained himself to leave the room when he hears the silverware being set on the table...\

April 25
I happened on an osprey's nest the other evening--one of the pair was feeding below the nest on a sunfish...


The weather has turned to warm and dry--above 70 for the first time, which seems hot.  So it's a confusing time--the house is cool since we've stopped heating, and it's near freezing in the morning outside and too cool to work in the garden then, but by noon it's too hot...  I did dig some raspberries to transplant later today, and dug the last carrots that overwintered in the garden.  Under the row of carrots was a sizable mole tunnel, and some of the carrots were missing their bottoms.  Happens every year, but not enough to do anything about it...

Books
The Daybreakers and Sackett by Louis L'Amour  There's always a tough gunslinging guy and a beautiful ranch girl in these romances for men...  Still, they're classics...

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith.   A bit more humor than average for these tropically paced minor mysteries...

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