From Sunburn to Frostbite: Spring, Where Are You?

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I know I’m sounding like a stuck record, but our crazy weather continues. One of the weathermen at a Huntsville station predicted the last frost of the year last week and had to eat crow this week. This is the same weatherman who hails from Minnesota and landed up walking to work one icy morn after making a statement he knew how to drive in the snow.  He’s not familiar with the weather in the Tennessee Valley. I needed short sleeves and sunscreen a couple of Saturdays ago at Colbert Ferry on Natchez Trace for the War of 1812 defending the Trace reenactment. Wednesday we had record low temperatures not seen since 1893. By the weekend, temperatures were in the high 70s. I still have daffodils blooming and can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a butterfly on one. My irises are just starting to bloom. My peonies are very late this year, maybe in a couple of weeks they’ll be in bloom. Usually they are finished blooming by now.

Local farmers planted a lot of canola last fall. All of the fields around my area are planted in it instead of wheat as in years past. They are just starting to bloom out, and the yellow will be a lot prettier. The next post I should have some pictures of the yellow fields. Dogwoods, two wing silverbell, and Kwansan Cherry are in bloom. Redbuds are just finishing up. 

I sharpened the blades on my finishing mower and plan to mow once more, trying to get rid of the stubble I created with dull blades. Then I need to put the tiller on the John Deere and plow up my garden and get it planted. In the meantime, I moved my Cherokee tomato plants into larger containers.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are back! My feeders were being visited, but our paths weren’t crossing. I finally saw several males at my feeders the first part of April. A couple of weeks later a female showed up. I’ve seen a lot of gold finches at my sunflower seed feeders.

The Hooligans have been busy chasing, chasing anything that moves or flies. Blackie has worn herself out chasing bumblebees so much that I’m giving her an extra cup of Pro-Plan each day trying to get some weight back on her. Last weekend she caught a rat snake at the end o the driveway. It was history before I could rescue it. She’s almost over a ringworm fungal infection, at least I hope. She loves water, but only when she decides she wants to get wet. If she doesn’t want to get wet, she’s a handful. Hopefully the infection is gone and we won’t have to go through the bath again. I cut Levi and Patches back a little as both are getting a little chunky.

My garden room project I started over a year ago is getting near completion. I’ve been working on it a little at a time as finances allow. I’ll post some before and after pictures later.

The 1812 program marked the conflict that occurred among Native American tribes trying to decide whether to support the English or the Americans during the war. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and the tribes of the north wanted to side with the British and ventured down to Colbert Ferry urging the Southern Creeks, Chickasaws, Choctaws and Cherokees to join forces with them against the Americans. I received my GRIT blogger T-shirt a few days earlier and wore it at the event and had my picture taken with a couple of the reenactors.

Thursday and Friday was dedicated to education of schools. Saturday’s program was open to the public. I wasn’t able to get off work to photograph the school programs, but was there for Saturdays and took bunches of pictures.

The pipe and drums drill master was obvious retired military. He drilled the group and drilled them for the ending ceremony until it was right.

Other items on the photography front – last Monday I drove Janice Williams, aka the Coondog Cemetery Lady, to the Key Underwood Memorial Coon Dog Cemetery to meet a visiting Coon dog dignitary, Westminster Kennel Club 2014 Hound Best of Breed, Ch. Evenstar N Heritage Mint Julep. I took several pictures, but I really like the one of her sitting by the headstone of Troop, the first Coon dog buried at the cemetery 76 years ago.

A friend of mine, Mike Cabiness, living on Cedar Creek Lake in Franklin County, Alabama, offered to take me on a boat ride to see an eagle’s nest. When we got there, ospreys had taken it over. Two parents were swooping and landing and taking off over and over when we got there. It was like they were trying to show the two large young-uns how to do it. As we got there, one of the babies looked at us, flew off of the nest and circled us and landed back on the nest. I was excited to get several nice pictures of the baby. By the way, I searched to see what a baby osprey is called, and they don’t have a name. I also got to see a Loon, Cliff swallows and Caspian Terns, and Blue grosbeaks for the first time this week.

Upcoming is Recall Lagrange, the 151-year anniversary of the burning of the college, and a new event, a wild west stampede and rodeo, Helen Keller Festival and the W.C. Handy Fest.

I close with this one thought. I’ve been digging up Chinese privet and saw briars the last several weeks down along the dry creek. When I got back to the house, I found out that a fiberglass shovel handle can be broken.