My Journey in 2011 – April
Well we are in the 4th month of the year already and Spring is 11 days old. We have new snow this morning! Winter is not leaving without a fight!
Now I know that April showers bring May flowers, but it has been raining for several days now and all the streams and rivers are crested. Flood watches are out with the amount of rain that we are recieving combined with the melting snow. There are still patches of snow here and there, with some snow expected this weekend. I did hear my first thunder of the season…this morning. It reminded me of summer.
We had a beautiful Saturday (4/9) where we spent most of the day outside picking up fallen branches and twigs that were under the winter’s snow. It was very close to 60 degrees, not quite, but close. Isabell, our Alpine Fainting goat cross, followed us all around the property like a very large dog. She enjoyed keeping us company. Sunday (4/10) was partially cloudy and the temps a little cooler, closer to 50. This morning it is cloudy once again, but I went outside about 6:30 and the birds sounded like an orchestra! What beautiful music they make. I know that this is the time of the year when they sing the strongest, since it is mating time. Hoping these clouds clear away to a beautiful day, but the forecast is calling for showers, so I can’t keep my hopes up!
After such a beautiful weekend, we have had several days of rain. They say,”April showers brings May flowers”. We do have a few Snow Drops blooming and some Crocus. These flowers bloom in NJ in February, but here in the Western Catskill Mountains, they just started coming up now! It has been so nice to hear the Spring Peepers each night as I come home from work. They just started singing last week. Spring peepers are to the amphibian world what American Robins are to the bird world. As their name implies, they begin emitting their familiar sleigh-bell-like chorus right around the beginning of spring.
While taking care of the animals this rainy morning, I heard a bird calling that I have never heard before. I could not find it, but it was coming from the pine trees that boarder our property. The bird must have gotten tired of sitting there, when it decided to fly to another group of trees. It was a woodpecker that I have never noticed before. When researching it, I found it to be a Pileated Woodpecker. It had the most outstanding call. I watched it fly from tree to tree and have discovered it to be a male. Since it had a red beard besides having a red crest. The females do not have the red beard.
This woodpecker is Crow sized, pretty large for a woodpecker. Black with white neck stripes, conspicuous white wing linings, and prominent red crest. After researching this bird I found out that it is very difficult to spot since it is very shy and often stays away from humans.
The weather has been so rainy,damp and dreary this month as a whole. The past several days there have been high winds hitting the 40mph range. There have been some sunny days, but mostly cloudy. The resident rabbits are always ready for me to come out in the morning to feed our animals. They love to steal the cracked corn. They scamper away from us, but are always ready to share a dish of cracked corn with the chickens, ducks and geese. The rabbits are so cute and cuddly.
Okay, who turned off Spring! We had a cold 36 degrees all day and snow flurries all day long! In the morning, while filling the ducks and geese water buckets, I watched a rabbit sitting safely away from me. Spying on me as to when I was going to leave the area. As soon as I finished the one bucket I was filling, he came over and started eating the cracked corn out of the pans I had set out for the ducks and geese. When I let the birds out, and they went running over to their food, the rabbit would not budge. The geese tryed to scare him with their huge wings outstretched and the rabbit just looked at them and refused to move. So the geese shared their breakfast with the rabbit!