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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Spring Wildflowers

After the snow melted, 
the wildflowers started popping up.

 One of the first to appear are the harbingers of spring, tiny flowers that grow low to the ground.

The next day, I saw these hepatica or liverwort.
Spring has sprung!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sounds of Spring

The spring peepers, a type of tiny frog,
 have emerged from their winter slumber and are looking for mates.
Such loud sounds from such little creatures.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Maple Sugarin' Time

Its that time again!
Time to make maple syrup.

 We tried something new this year, sealed buckets with tubing.
We've had ants get into the sap in the past.
This works great, no ants!

 The hardest part!

Boiling the sap on the trusty evaporator.
We got about 55 gallons of sap this year.


 We do a final boil inside where we can regulate the process.
Then we fill the bottles,

Cap them,

 Clean the sticky off them,


And finally, heat shrink a cover on the cap.

2019 batch is in the books!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Shed Season

So yesterday, I saw this.

 Notice the buck only has one antler?
Its shed season, when all the bucks drop their antlers and begin growing new ones.

See that big hole in his head?  
He's just dropped his left antler.

So today,  I took a hike and this is what I found!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Antlers

Our bucks still have antlers on March 3rd.
Soon they'll be dropping them and shed hunting season will begin.


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Bo Knows

Our only remaining farm dog is Bo.
He loves the cold.


Rolling on ice is a favorite winter pastime.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

First Sign of Spring

I heard the first redwing blackbird today.
Since many robins stay here year round, the redwings are a better harbinger of spring.
When you hear that familiar "Conk-a-ree" you know spring can't be far way.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Windy Storm

We had strong winds and bitter cold this weekend.
And lost a few trees.




Thursday, February 21, 2019

Nature is Never Static

The woods and creek are constantly changing.
Lots of snow melt and runoff create new creek banks.
And the creek slowly changes course.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

Ice Sculptures

Snowmelt, flooding and refreezing.
Mother Nature created some pretty cool ice sculptures!



Looks like hand-dipped icicles.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Whitetails

The whitetails have missed the birdseed buffet!



Even the big boys have shown up!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Back to Winter


Back home in Indiana and, no surprise, we have snow!

 The animal tracks are everywhere.
Even on the creek.

Raccoon 

Mouse
Brrrr!



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Towel Creatures

Our cruise is done but just wanted to share some of the 
fun towel critters our room steward, Riske, placed in our stateroom every evening.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Nicaragua & Guatemala

Another stop on our cruise was Nicaragua where we visited a banana plantation.

 The bananas are covered in bags in the field to protect them from insects
 and rubbing which causes bruising.
No one wants black marks on the their bananas!

One surprising thing I learned is that the bananas grow upward
 instead of hanging down like I expected. 

After being cut from the stems, the bananas are washed

Boxed

And ready to ship.
Maybe this box will go through the Panama canal!

 Another port of call was Guatemala, where we saw the active volcano, Fuego.

The volcano just erupted 6 months ago in June of 2018.

Antigua is a mere 17 kilometers from the volcano 
and is an ancient city which has seen eruptions before.

 Antigua is known for its Spanish architecture.

And has many beautiful churches.

Jade is also mined in Guatemala and we visited a Jade factory 
where workers were carving and creating jade masks, among other things.



 Carving jade.

 There are many street vendors in the town market.

 You can buy just about anything you want!

Antigua was a lovely historic city.