Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Outdoor Mom's Journal - March 2020

March was filled with a lot of outdoor time. From the beginning of the month when it was still pretty much snow-covered to the end of March when everything was in a state of brownish-green, it was a nice month to be outdoors.

On March 1, 2020, I took the dogs for a walk. The ground was still covered with snow for the most part. 

The fields were covered with snow.

The shadows that the dogs cast created interesting shapes. Danny looks much larger and more ferocious as a shadow.

Puddles were beginning to form as the snow melted.

The trail cam was showing lots of activity with the rabbits.

A couple of days later, on March 3, 2020, pheasants were walking through the front yard to eat shell corn.

Out of all the trail cam photos during March, this one on March 5, 2020, makes me laugh. I had no idea that rabbits could jump that high. That rabbit on the ground doesn't look humored by the incoming rabbit. 

On another walk with the dogs, the moon was starting to rise in the late afternoon on March 6, 2020.

My legs looked incredibly long in the afternoon.

On March 7, 2020, there was a large flock of turkeys in a field.

The sunset was lovely. I really like the shades of blue, lavender, and pink.

On the way back home, the moon was shining.

On March 11, 2020, I was shocked to see that a coyote showed up on the trail cam! This is less than ten feet from the front of our home. I had no idea that they came this close to our home. Thankfully, we have a fence around our backyard to protect our dogs. The backyard is probably no more than 30-35 feet from where the coyote is walking.

That night a racoon also was running around the front yard.

The pheasants continued to visit the front yard on March 12, 2020, where I had put some shell corn. They typically come out during the day. They never show up at night on the trail cam.

On March 14, 2020, I changed the trail cam to the back part of the property. A small herd of three deer showed up. This one made me laugh. She kept posing in front of the camera and would move her head and neck to show different angles. This is one of about 15 photos in a row that were taken of her.

With the super-photogenic deer, there were two more deer - one of a similar size and then a smaller one that was a bit camera shy.

On March 18, 2020, the deer herd came back by the trail cam. All three were there again. I moved the trail cam after this because I don't want the deer to be concerned or alarmed by the light going off at night. I want them to feel safe and be able to raise their young here.

On March 20, 2020, Sophia, Olivia, and I went to Eagle Bluff in Osceola, Wisconsin, and went on a walk through the woods.

The woods opened up a bit as we got to bluffs along the St. Croix River. This bridge links Minnesota and Wisconsin.

There were lots of holes in a tree.

One hole I thought looked like a person's mouth - almost like the tree is screaming.

This is a tree stump. There were shades of green and brown on it despite being mostly gray.

When I came home, I walked around the backyard and was surprised to see some of the perennials coming up.

There were some buds on the apple tree in the backyard.

There are weeds next to the driveway. They'll need to be pulled since they are quite tall. I'm thinking some native plants would be nice instead of the weeds.

When I looked out to the pond, there was a robin that was enjoying the water and taking a bath. A sure sign of Spring!

On the walk with the dogs, I spotted a woolly bear caterpillar. 

There was a milkweed plant that had the white fluff and seeds spilling out of a couple of its pods. I walked this path many times during the Fall and thought I opened up all the pods to release the seeds. I had hoped that this Spring that there would be a huge number of milkweed plants along the road I walked. At any rate, this milkweed plant I missed and the fluff was dry and ready to fly away with its seeds.

The fields no longer have snow on them. There's just some snow in the ditches and on the north side of buildings and fields.

On March 25, 2020, two geese landed in our pond and were spending time swimming around and eating. There have been a lot of geese and sandhill cranes migrating back to Minnesota.

On the March 26, 2020, Sophia came with me. The dogs enjoyed sniffing the side of the road and ditches. More people are walking their dogs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There's more wildlife that is out and about now that the weather is warmer.

We've been taking longer walks and exploring a couple new areas. The dogs love this section. I don't think a lot of people come this way since it's a dead-end. So, there must be lots of wildlife scents along this section of the walk.

One of the trees I see on the walk is this one. For some reason, it reminds me of a person with one arm up and one arm outstretched to the front. The wild hairdo is the part that extends high into the sky.

On March 27, 2020, the girls, Danny, Scooby, and I went to Interstate State Park in Wisconsin. Sophia wanted to take the dogs and was in charge of them while Olivia and I took photos. There was a group of eight geese in the lake that was half-melted and half-covered with ice.

They maintained their distance from us - especially since we had two dogs with us.

Danny was enjoying exploring the new textures under his paws, the landscape, and all the new smells.

Scooby was so happy to be out walking at a new place. He even jumped over this log he was so excited!

Olivia was practicing her photography skills and using a new lens.

The lake was still frozen in parts.

The girls were practicing their social distance. They are walking along the pathway to the right of the photo.

There were weeds along the lake.

There was running water in a little stream in one section of the woods.

I liked how the water flowed over the rocks.

There were bright green ferns in the woods.

Not more than a couple minutes walk down the path, there was still snow and ice.

The stonework on a building by the lake was beautiful.

The shingles were made from wood.

We were wrapping up the hike through the woods.

As we were standing on the fishing dock, a broadwinged hawk flew overhead!

We had our first fire of the season and made hot dogs and toasted marshmallows over the fire. The drama of the evening was when I lost my balance and almost fell into the fire (the ground is uneven by my chair). Sophia's quick thinking and action saved me from the fire. 

On March 28, 2020, we went back to Eagle Bluff and went on the walk, but in the opposite direction to see everything from a different perspective. It was a cloudier and drearier day than when we went about a week ago. Nonetheless, it was a pretty walk.

The view of the St. Croix River was more gray than the bright-blue sky and water a week ago.

There were mushrooms growing on a tree in the woods.

Sophia took a break from walking.

Olivia and Sophia are standing on a bluff overlooking the St. Croix River. Wisconsin is to the right and Minnesota is to the left.

We came home because it was starting to rain. After it stopped raining, I took the dogs on a walk. 

Scooby came out to check the trail cam in the northwest pasture. My favorite oak tree is in the background.

On March 31, 2020, I noticed that the tiger lilies were coming up in the ditches around our farm. They are planted and have spread in all directions - quite likely by someone who lived in our home decades ago.

The sunset was peaceful and relaxing that evening.

The frogs were singing in the pond very loudly.

It has been a wonderful month exploring and enjoying nature around the farm, on walks with the dogs, and walks with my family.