Spring has sprung

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snoqueen
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby snoqueen » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:50 am

I'm disappointed. I always consider spring and fall the comfortable parts of the year, and winter and summer as times of general misery (being coated in sticky hot sweat doesn't appeal to me). From my point of view, Sunday afternoon was already too hot. The night was beautiful, though.

Whine whine.

kurt_w
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:40 am

snoqueen wrote:The night was beautiful, though.


Indeed. The sky, too. Venus and Jupiter on one side, as bright as you'll ever see them; Mars and Saturn on the other. Pretty nifty.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Woofer » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:32 am

Here's what I wonder about... It seems inevitable that within the next few weeks, we'll revert to more seasonal temperatures. Which means night after night of hard freezes, daytime highs in mid-40s. What effect would that have, if any, on all the prematurely blooming plants and leafing trees? There's been hatches of flies and mosquitoes--- they'd all die. Is that going to screw up the birdie food chain?

I'm wondering if someone with a climatological/meteorological bent can shed some light on the adverse impacts of this hot spell. I've read that the maple syrup harvest is already screwed... and the apple orchards may be, as well?

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby kurt_w » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:41 am

From Robert Frost's "Goodbye and Keep Cold"

Robert Frost wrote:This saying good-bye on the edge of the dark
And cold to an orchard so young in the bark
Reminds me of all that can happen to harm
An orchard away at the end of the farm [...]

I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun.
(We made it secure against being, I hope,
By setting it out on a northerly slope.)
No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm;
But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm.
"How often already you've had to be told,
Keep cold, young orchard. Good-bye and keep cold.
Dread fifty above more than fifty below."

I have to be gone for a season or so.
My business awhile is with different trees,
Less carefully nourished, less fruitful than these,
And such as is done to their wood with an axe--
Maples and birches and tamaracks.
I wish I could promise to lie in the night
And think of an orchard's arboreal plight
When slowly (and nobody comes with a light)
Its heart sinks lower under the sod.
But something has to be left to God.

Galoot
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Galoot » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:47 am

I'm very glad to see you sticking around, kurt. Illegitimi non carborundum.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby kurt_w » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:53 am

Thanks.

snoqueen
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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby snoqueen » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:07 am

Those four planets caught in the branches of the next door elms (and Sirius too) have made the winter nights so beautiful. I'll be sorry to see them go their separate ways. I used them to show the neighbor kid how the ecliptic plane works, and she liked that.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Marvell » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:24 am

Hot, hot loon action along the Lake Monona shoreline this afternoon; there was one swimming around where the passage to Monona Bay goes under John Nolan Drive. Then, not five minutes later, I saw another one in front of the FLW Convention Center; I stopped to watch it dive and it rewarded me by popping back up out of the water with a big ol' fish in its beak.

There's still also an impressive flotilla of coots hanging around where the MG&E water dumps into Monona, just down from B. B. Clarke.

Presumably both coots and loons will soon be heading further north, but I'm stoked they decided to stop by.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby doppel » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:15 am

In one of the surest signs that spring has sprung, I see that the trees have turned on their taste for kites.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Marvell » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:01 pm

Standing on the foot bridge over Starkweather Creek that leads to the Thai Pavilion; it's about 6:15 pm, and I'm looking up-river towards the bike path. I see a muskrat swimming towards me from about 30 yards off; he's swimming along just off the starboard shoreline, just sort of puttering along.

As I watch the muskrat chugging slowly towards me, I notice that there's this one cowbird, hopping from rock to rock alongside him. Every time the muskrat stops to dawdle, so does the cowbird - he wanders around, picking at things until the muskrat decides to mosey on. At which point, the cowbird goes dutifully hopping after him.

This goes on for a good pace, until a sudden bout of yokel hooting sounding through the trees from the neighborhood beyond startled the cowbird into flight. The muskrat apparently either didn't notice or has become inured to such things, as he kept right on muskrat choogling under the bridge and on into the gathering dusk.

I dig muskrats; they look like the greasy, blue-collar cousin of their more polished cousins the otters and such.

But I wonder what the deal was with the cowbird. Are they in league with the muskrats?

And if so, to what sinister purpose?

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby Ducatista » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:28 pm

Love my job, NOT glad that this is fucking crazy season and I didn't get to go to the arb this weekend to breathe in the apple blossoms. So my husband walked over to Bethel Lutheran tonight and scored me a couple branches of blossoms. Not the same as a whole Longenecker Gardensful, but I'm happy all the same.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby gargantua » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:33 pm

These are really strange times. I have it in my mind that it should be summer....in so many respects it has felt like it for awhile. But it's April 8th. That's insane.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby rabble » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:17 am

Marvell wrote: Every time the muskrat stops to dawdle, so does the cowbird - he wanders around, picking at things until the muskrat decides to mosey on. At which point, the cowbird goes dutifully hopping after him.
...
But I wonder what the deal was with the cowbird. Are they in league with the muskrats?

And if so, to what sinister purpose?

I don't think this would apply to the cowbird/muskrat relationship but three times now I have paddled my little kayak down that creek and been accompanied by a green heron. Took me a little while to figure out why he kept flying ahead and waiting but finally I noticed my boat was scaring all the little crawly and swimmy things in the water closer to shore. And about every other time I passed the heron, it had a squiggly thing in its beak. The little sucker was using me to scare up a meal.

But I don't think a cowbird would use a muskrat that way. I think they just like each other's company.

Incidentally, there's beavers in that there crick. I don't think that's what you saw, but if you ever do look out there and say to yourself, that's the biggest frickin muskrat I ever saw in my life! it ain't. I saw one within sight of that bridge last month.

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby rrnate » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:39 am

This magically nice weather seems to have a direct correlation with the magically large amount of pollen in the air. Booo!

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Re: Spring has sprung

Postby doppel » Thu May 03, 2012 2:37 pm

Big winds from the south last night. First hummingbirds, orioles, grosbeaks and indigo buntings of the season at the feeder today. Morels have really gone nuts with all the recent moisture.


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