Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sprinkle, Shower, Drench, Submerge

Sorry to be redundant, but this is getting ridiculous!
Constant steady rains have saturated the ground.

We've had nothing but rain for days.

Things are getting soaked & squishy.

And this....

Now looks like this.

I'll sure be glad when April is over!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Although the weather has been rainy,
its perfect weather for fungus, namely morel mushrooms.
Time for the annual forage into the woods.
This is a half morel.
According to my mushroom field guide,
their edibility is good.
They appear several days before the stars of the show,
the yellow, gray & black morels.

The morels blend in with the leaf litter 
and it takes a sharp eye to spot them.

There's one!

A handful!
Edibility: Choice
Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Perfect Weather.... If You're a Duck

The rain has been unrelenting for the last 10 days.
  We are on track for record rainfall in April.
Not many happy faces here on the ranch.

Mallards fighting the upstream current

Turtle on debris in the creek

 Soaked Night Crawler

Rainy Frog Pond

Waterlogged pasture

Happy honking Canadian geese

Springtime in the Woods

With warming temps and abundant rain,
the woods are bursting with new life.

Marsh Marigold with tiny worm


Wild Apple Blossoms

 Wood Poppy

Morel Mushrooms!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Return of the Wood Thrush

One of the most melodious birds of the woods is back,
the wood thrush.
I heard him as I stepped outside today.
 A cousin of the robin, it is a secretive bird of deep forests,
but since the trees haven't leafed out yet,
I managed to snap his photo.

The wood thrush has one of the most beautiful songs of the forest, 
described as flute-like, melodious and haunting.
Here is a link to his song:

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Day with the Dentist

For those of you that don't have horses,
things aren't as easy as just turning your horse out in a field and making sure he has water.
They need to see the dentist just like you and I.
Maybe even more so.
Horses' teeth grow continuously and they grind down their teeth when they eat.
However, their teeth don't always align perfectly and 
they often have sharp points on the edges of the teeth.

These sharp edges and points can cause abrasions & ulcers on the tongue and inside the cheek.
If his mouth is sore, he won't eat well  and he'll lose weight.
So a yearly dental check is routine,
and dental work is needed about every 2 years.
At the Blue Rock, today was the day.

The vet, who is also the dentist,
brings his own stocks to restrain the horses for the procedure.

First up, Rocky the Suspicious.
The horse is sedated and a speculum is placed in his mouth and cranked open.
Yes, that's a power drill he's using.

This was Jasper's first dental float.
The instrument has a diamond grinding wheel
which quickly takes off the sharp points on their teeth.

Years ago this was done by hand with this type of tool called a float.
The procedure is still called floating teeth.

Sometimes a Dremel tool is used for detailed tooth grinding.

Even Tag does not escape the dental work.
His teeth are more worn down than the younger horses,
but thankfully, he still has all his teeth.
Everyone received their spring shots too.
Gosh, I've had a bad day!

Every Day is Earth Day

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April Showers Bring Wet Feet

You can always tell it's April
By the sound of falling rain
That mystic, mournful music
As it trickles down the drain.
  We're told we should be thankful
For the kiss of April showers
As it washes all the grass clean
And prepares the soil for flowers.
  There's another side to April
Which doesn't bode us good,
When that mini, manic maelstrom
Turns the lawn to liquid mud." 
-  Thomas Vaughan Jones, O' To Be in April

Slow as Molasses

This snail was crossing the driveway after an night of heavy rain.

Snails are nocturnal and one of the slowest animals on earth.
The average garden snail travels about 55 yards an hour.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wild Canaries

The goldfinches are wearing their breeding finery now.
These birds are also called wild canaries.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today's Walk

After overnight rains I walked the woods
and found....

 This mini volcano, a crawdad hole

Deer bones

Cherry tree with woodpecker holes

Insect cocoon or egg sac

Forsythia bloom

 Wild Dutchman's Breeches
and its related cousin,

Cultivated Bleeding Heart