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Wednesday, 5/21/2008

It's been a cool week.  It keeps threatening to rain, but I don't think it has yet. 

We went up to Owens’ today because Tim wanted a couple basil plants.  Someone had bought them all, but instead we got green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce and mesclun (not plants, but food).  I am SO HAPPY that spring has started!!  We’re also buying eggs now at Owens’.  At least they are all the same size and color.  I think Tim likes that better than the Easter Eggs that we got previously from a local farm.

We’ve got more than a half-dozen rose-breasted grosbeaks at the feeder. 

Tim just found the UNH cooperative extension web site and he’s pretty excited about it.  Except for learning that our raspberries are planted in the absolute worst possible place in the yard.  It didn’t seem to stop them from reproducing this spring.

One lone turkey was hanging around in the ditch on Hicks Hill today when we walked.  Tim went ahead to see if he was injured.  I and the blackflies stood back to await a verdict.  It wasn't hurt, and it wandered off when Tim got too close, gobbling all the way.

Hallie got her operation today.  I was a nervous wreck.  Didn't sleep last night and had a hard time with work today.  She is fine though.  Moving around the house as if she didn't even go to the Vet today.

Sunday, 5/18/2008

We've been gone for awhile to St John.  So, we missed a ton!

The garden is up - lettuce and 4 rows of beans.  Peas were up before we left, but are growing well.  Just SO SLOWLY.

These birds showed up while we were gone, and are still around - Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole and Catbird.  Hawk is screeching outside.  We can hear him through the closed windows.  We think we saw some baby Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Mourning Doves today.

The blackflies and mosquitoes are out in full force.  Yesterday, we hiked North/South Pack with Debi and Will.  As long as we kept moving, it was OK.  If we stopped for a snack, then dozens would descend upon us.  Mostly Tim.

Wednesday, 4/30/2008

It's cold today!!  Low 40's, clear and windy.  On our afternoon walk we saw an Eastern Bluebird.  It's the first we've ever seen on Hicks Hill.  The broad-winged hawk also swooped down and sat in a tree right above us as we walked on Owl Brook Road.  We saw some Colt's Foot along the side of the road.  Lastly, it SNOWED while we were walking.  From one lone snow cloud in an otherwise blue sky. 

Tuesday, 4/29/2008

Trapped in the house again.  Pouring, pouring all day.  Last night's brook trout were excellent. 

Now it's snowing.  HARD.

Monday, 4/28/2008

Tim fished again today.  Lake Armington.  He saw a couple Common Loons and also a Common Merganser.

He brought home three nice rainbow trout.  Much bigger than the brookies yesterday.  By the way, those brookies are our dinner tonight.  The rainbows are in the freezer.  I'm really into the idea of "Localvore" eating right now - getting all your food from within 100 miles of home.  Tim's fishing is really helping in that department.  It will be easier once the farmers' markets and farm stands are open.

It's been pouring rain all day.  Only supposed to get worse in the next 24 hours.  It's already obvious that Owl Brook and Squam River are *very* swollen.  The town could be in for some trouble.

Sunday, 4/27/2008

Lazy/rainy day at the house for Valerie.  Tim got some excellent pictures of the White-throated Sparrows in the yard.  He also went fishing at Perch Pond.  Caught 4 small brook trout.  Stupid stockers keep swallowing the hook.

Saturday, 4/26/2008

We hiked Crawford-Ridgepole trail

  • Heard tons of warblers, but didn't specifically identify any of them
  • Got great photos plus a video of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker beating on a dead tree
  • Saw an immature Garter Snake
  • Saw an immature Turkey Vulture.  It looked like a Black Vulture, but we don't have them this far north. 
  • Got photos of exactly one wildflower - Round-leaved Yellow Violet. 

Friday, 4/25/2008

  • We have come to the conclusion that the three "baby Pileated Woodpeckers" that we saw last week are actually *more* Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.  DOH!  They just had so much more red on them than we are used to seeing.  Lesson learned.
  • We successfully identified a Solitary (Blue-eyed) Vireo on Hicks Hill.  Our first.
  • Tim got to see two Broad-winged Hawks mating in the dead tree in the yard.  They have been hanging around for several days, and one time soared right over us when we were in the front yard.
  • Evening Grosbeaks (male & female) came back to the feeder for the first time this spring.
  • The mallards are still taking hand-outs from our feeder.

On River Street in Ashland, we saw:

  • a muskrat on the shores of the Squam River
  • A Cardinal
  • A Pine Warbler (again, a first!)
  • several Hooded Mergansers

Thursday, 4/24/2008

  • We had our official "ice-out" on both Squam and Little Squam Lakes today.  It was really interesting to watch it break up the last couple days.  With virtually no wind or rain for more than a week, it just simply faded away.
  • The Chipping Sparrows are at every feeder.  They are surprisingly bright colored!
  • The mallards were back at the feeder again.
  • The peas have come up!
  • The last of the snow is gone from the yard.  This is weeks before we figured it would be gone.  I swear it wasn't a week ago we still had a foot of snow in the middle of the lawn.
  • We hiked West Rattlesnake after work.  The blackflies were out but not biting.  No wildflowers to be seen yet.
  • Tim fed a chipmunk out of his hands.  We think it's the same chipmunk we had last year.  He's too tame.

Wednesday, 4/23/2008

We took our first canoe trip of the year on Squam River.  We saw:

  • 2 big snapping turtles
  • 4 Canada geese
  • 2 Great Blue Herons
  • 1 Hooded Merganser
  • 5 Black ducks
  • A couple of mallards

The Mallards from Gilman's pond are at the bird feeder at the side of the house. They are eating off the ground around it.  He is constantly on the watch, but she doesn't care about anything but getting to the food.

The White-throated Sparrows are in the yard.  First time we've had them in the three years we've lived in Ashland.  They were one of Tim's favorite birds in Delaware.  He's thrilled to have them back.

There's just a little snow left in the yard.  It'll be gone in a day or so.

Flowers:

  • Crocuses are up and blooming.
  • Daffodils and tulips are up but not yet blooming.
  • Perennials are all showing life.
  • Oregano, parsley and chives are all up and healthy.

Tuesday, 4/22/2008

Earth Day - that's an appropriate time to renew my commitment to the Daily Log.  I found that I was not keeping this updated because I was thinking too much about the writing.  Now, it's all about content.  It won't be contemplative or verbose.  Just the facts, ma'am.

In the last week:

  • We've seen our first butterfly of spring - a Mourning Cloak butterfly - two times.  First, at the top of Peppercorn Rd, and then again while at Plum Island over the weekend.
  • We've seen three baby Pileated Woodpeckers flitting around in the tree out front together.
  • The Phoebes are everywhere. 
  • There was a Ruffed Grouse on Highland Street in Ashland.
  • We saw two Wood Ducks in Moultonboro, while driving up Rt 25 towards Conway.  They were just in a flooded area at the side of the road.
  • We saw an otter on the ice at Chocorua Lake on the same drive.
  • The turkeys have been in the yard almost every day.
  • The chipmunks just showed up.
  • Peepers and frogs are chiming like crazy!!  Any little water hole on top of Peppercorn or Hicks Hill in Ashland.  Also on our walk in Holderness, we came across a pond that was teeming with them.

Today:

  • Goldfinches were back for the first time in months.
  • We saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for the first time.

In the Garden:

  • Peas went in about 4/15.
  • Green beans went in on 4/20.
  • Lettuce on 4/22.