Does this look like April?  The trees don' even have any buds on them yet!

Does this look like April? The trees don’t even have any buds on them yet!

The spring that hasn’t been.  That’s a good name for this post about my latest TWO trips to Wisconsin.  The first was in mid-March.  It was above 35 degrees only one day.  The rest of the time it was between 12 and 24 degrees, and I even got snowed in!

The road into the farm after I waited all day to get plowed out!  This was March 22nd!

The road into the farm after I waited all day to get plowed out! This was March 22nd!

It was honestly the first time I have been in Wisconsin in the winter (for that it was!) and didn’t even want to go outside.  To think I went up there looking forward to seeing buds and maybe, daffodils, and with instructions on how to kill garlic mustard!  I never even saw the ground (too much snow) much less garlic mustard!

So, that trip having been a bust, I went again – this time mid-April.  It snowed all but one of the days I was there!  The snow didn’t last, of course.  But do you know what it feels like to watch a snow coming down, day after day, in APRIL?  I guess you do if you live in Wisconsin:  You saw it first-hand this “spring.”

A "sign" of spring!  A robin! You have to take what you can get...

A “sign” of spring! A robin! You have to take what you can get…

My April trip was not a total bust however.  Most of the time I was there, I was attending a meeting in Beaver Dam, WI., but I got down to the farm for two days.  My daffodils are barely up, the tulips are still just leaves. We did spray a lot of garlic mustard.  I foolishly burned a patch of reed prairie grass (and scared myself silly thinking I was going to burn down the entire farm).  I also walked with my camera and saw a bit of wildlife!  Birds were plentiful and singing, but I did not fill my feeders.  We had a phoebe get caught inside the screens of the porch, and with some well-coordinated, strategic maneuvering, Gerry and I managed to get it to fly out the way it got in (a blown off screen) without doing it much damage.  Unfortunately, we found another phoebe on the porch who was not so lucky. Taps, and a woodland burial.

The phoebe who made it…

the phoebe who didn’t…

The eagles have nested again in the same tree.  I didn’t get any decent pictures of them to show you.  Even though their tree is surrounded by water this year, they were not happy with me walking around.

eagles_nest_Panorama1

Gerry and I saw about 12 deer on our last evening.  Interestingly, they were all together in a big, bouncing herd.  I was wondering about whether they have had their fawns yet this year since it is still so cold.  I can’t remember what month it was when we found the fawns in the garlic mustard in a couple of years ago. We also spotted a pair of wood ducks on the pond.

DSC_2897a

Guardian of the nest!

Guardian of the nest!

I did get some interesting pictures to show you…Sand Hill cranes and Canada geese are everywhere.

There are three geese, two cranes and some ducks in this photo.  Can you find them all?

There are three geese, two cranes and some ducks in this photo. Can you find them all?

We saw two giant snapping turtles (their shells were easily 24 inches in diameter) mating.  They are fearsome!  I wouldn’t want to come face to face with one.  Even the small ones I have seen demand respect – and a good distance between you and them.

This is a BIG animal.  With strong jaws!

This is a BIG animal. With strong jaws!

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