Sunday, June 1, 2014

Birds, bacon, and Roseanne

It's been three weeks since our last snowfall. The two weeks following that must have been spring because last week summer started. Everything is green now and most of the snow and ice is gone. It just can't last with temperatures in the 70's. The hummingbirds have returned, still humming the same tunes as they have for eons which reminds me of a Gregorian chant, only higher pitched and with a lot more physical activity. I'm pretty sure they don't hum because they don't know the words, either. We did have another errant visitor, though. We have seen them before, but only once in a while. They are an open country bird and we don't have open country in Superior National Forest. I present the yellow headed blackbird.

Another of our regular visitors is the rose breasted grosbeak. They stay around for the summer and add to the colorful mix.

I can't forget the goldfinches. We never saw these when we lived thirty miles inland from the lake, but they are abundant near the shore.

That was shot in the rain so not as bright as normal.

Speaking of shot, you may remember the 400 pound pink monster that invaded the mares' pasture a few weeks back. The pig formerly know as "Bacon Monster" is no more. With a small informal gathering of men with knives, block and tackle, and one handgun, she met her fate with calm and dignity doing what she did best. Eating. She will now supply several families with high quality, organically raised, free range pork. Reality is harsh, but some things must die so that others will live and knowing exactly where your food comes from is a good thing.

Work has turned from a leisurely paced affair to one of frantic activity. The ground has thawed enough for many of the road weight restrictions to be lifted and the construction season is starting like a racehorse out of the gate. It is an intense season that usually ends in November when the ground starts to freeze again and the weather becomes a major factor in the daily activities.

Here on the farm the grass is greening and the horses are grazing. In that respect it's summertime and the livin' is easy. As the day job lightens up in winter the farm work gets increasingly more difficult. In the summer it is the opposite. So, as Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner)  always says, "Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another." It's been twenty five years since her death and she still makes me giggle.


  1. Our spring is also here, and it's been about the same time since snow stuck to the ground. We've had flurries, but nothing substantial.

    Sounds like you have some good meals ahead.


  2. That goldfinch has shed his grey overcoat and is sporting his bright yellow feathers. Proof positive that Spring is here!

  3. I've never seen a yellow headed blackbird. The red winged blackbirds are quite common around here. I remember not knowing what they were and googled, "What is the black bird with red wings?" It was one of those "duh" moments. :-)

    I can't believe it's been 25 years already since Gilda Radner passed away.

  4. Jono--I agree. Gilda Radner was always hilarious. (Her memoir is sad but great.)

  5. SFM, summer is a time for fresh food. Should be eating our own salads soon.

    Donna, There is no doubt that it is no longer winter. By the time I can really feel that way it will be time to prepare for the next one.

    PP, I used to have more "duh" moments when I was younger. Now I just smile and nod.

    Sioux, I would really have liked to know her.

  6. We have had 6-8 goldfinch at our feeders at the same time lately. We've never had that before. I love the rose breasted grosbeaks. Those males are so vibrant. The warblers have gone through they are probably up your way now.

  7. The first time I saw a red winged blackbird I texted my husband and asked him (excitedly) if he knew what it was. It made him laugh because he grew up in Iowa where they are everywhere.

    We just happened to be in Iowa visiting his family this past weekend and I saw tons of red wings, goldfinches, thrushes, morning doves, and my first Baltimore Oriole!

  8. aitbr, I should go and sit by the ponds and look for the warblers. My record is five species in ten minutes.

    Agi T., You have goaded me into a public confession. I actually lived in Iowa for two years in the mid seventies!

  9. I never see these birds in the city, Jono...


  10. Oh, Jono - what lovely pictures you paint with your words. And what lovely pictures you take with your camera.

  11. The bird watching is one of my favorite things about the north country. Enjoy it, 'cause if winter is gone, can winter be far behind.

  12. Pearl, because your eyes are full of smog from the bus?

    Dawn, that is awfully nice of you to say.

    Geezers, Yeah the snow has been really wet the last few weeks. I'm sure it will be white again any day.