Monday, April 30, 2018

Outdoor Mom's Journal - April

During our outdoor time this month we places relatively close to home or explored the farm. The month started out with about a half a foot of snow falling before Easter. It was quite confusing for  the birds and waterfowl that were already migrating north.

In the middle of the month, from April 13th-16th, another 18 inches of snow fell.

A flock of about 25 male red-winged blackbirds gathered at the feeders to eat the birdseed and suet. The female red-winged blackbirds migrate north about three weeks after the males, so they avoided this snowfall.

The April 22nd - just a week after the major snowstorm, the pond was open, geese were swimming in it, and most of the snow had melted.

I added nature journal pages about...the unusual weather in April and what we experienced each day from April 13th through April 16th.

I did a two-page spread about red-winged blackbirds. I picked some photos and printed them in black and white to show the blackbirds at the feeder, the snowfall from one day, other birds and waterfowl that were around at the same time, and two sandhill cranes.

The third nature journal entry I did focused on frogs. We have many different types of frogs at the farm, so I included some facts about several types. Also found a picture in a magazine of a frog singing with its vocal sacs.

I am reading...
past issues of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine. There are several that I want to read before starting a nature-theme book.

I am dreaming about…
more days that we can spend outdoors without bugs and snow. This year, particularly this month, it has been a challenge with the amount of snow received in a short period of time.

The horses are sticking to paths they've made since the snow is up to Hoss's chest and Bailey's knees - the highest it has been since we adopted them in 2009.

The nice thing about April snowstorms is that the snow doesn't last long. The girls and I went on a golf-cart tour of Bethel University on April 27th. It was a bit chilly with the wind. Yet, it was much better than trudging through snow.

The most inspiring thing we experienced was...seeing so many birds at the feeders. We saw huge flocks of red-winged blackbirds, chickadees, and finches. There were cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, and juncos. 

We went through a lot of birdseed during the April 13-16th snowstorm. It was worth it to see the variety of birds.

Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)...if migrating birds fly north and it's too cold, do some of them fly south for a bit and wait a week or two until the weather improves?

In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting....
nothing yet. The ground was starting to thaw around the 25th of April when the frogs starting singing. Just a week before, it was covered with snow that the wind blew into interesting patterns and drifts.

The photo above is the pattern of the snow one morning that I was shoveling a section of the driveway. It reminded me of sand dunes and drifts...except with snow instead. 

A photo I would like to share...the photo below is a puddle that froze overnight on April 8th. The swirl - almost like a labyrinth - captured my attention.

Thank you to Barb the Outdoor Hour Challenge for the idea of doing an Outdoor Mom's Journal. 

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