Showing posts from April, 2013

winter surprises

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley We are as surprised as I imagine some of the returning birds are to discover this much snow on the ground in mid-April. When we left for the south for three weeks on March 23 I skied our trails ‘one last time’, or so I told myself.  And now it looks like I may be able to ski for another week, based on the extended forecast, although the snow is very sticky.  We discovered dark eyed juncos, the so called ‘snowbirds’ because they leave every autumn before the snow falls and return when its gone (or nearly so), and purple finch 

which we did not see in all the previous five months at our feeders.  That was rather unusual, because they typically are winter visitors.  I’m not sure where they went this winter, but we are happy to see them back in our yard.  While we were gone, we believe the raccoons came out of their winter dens because one of our best feeders that our neighbor Dick kept filled for us was thoroughly dismantled.  A bear would have taken it away and p…

New Orleans to Memphis and MN - April 6 - 14

Returning north on the Mississippi River on the Paddlewheel - Queen of the Mississippi we were able to observe two weeks of change.  What we found was that the peak of Azaleas had moved north to Vicksburg and Memphis - the beauty of the southern cities had changed to more green.

Lesser scaup were still in the lower river
The live oaks had fewer flowers among them
Cardinal in still leafless shrub
Amaryllis now fuller flowered  Brown thrashers sand along with Mockingbirds The floodplain at Baton Rouge fully leafed out
At St Francisville the flowering had increased Spider lilies legumes
spring beauty
Happy dog
Brown Thrasher
crayfish chimney
Primrose - which had been in NO in previous week
Red Headed woodpecker Ducklings in Natchez Azalea and Camilla in Vicksburg - peak had shifted north Floodplain below Memphis fulled leafed out <

Spring From MN March 30 to New Orleans April 5

When we left our Northern MN home March 22 to fly to New Orleans and begin our Full Length Mississippi project we were leaving at the very beginning of spring.  Snow was still deep in our lawn - maybe a foot and we thought this would be gone and it would be greening up by the time we returned April 14.  We did not want to miss the excitement of spring migration and blooming.

In New Orleans, Natchez, St. Francisville, and Memphis on our first paddlewheel north we were finding that the cold spell that was up north was extended far south and the migration was not proceeding rapidly, but it was definitely spring.  At Oak Alley near New Orleans.

At oak alley the leaves are out
Redwinged blackbirds sang
Iris in bloom

Azaleas at their peak
Amaryllis in flower
Fox squirrels active
Flower beds full
A recent hatch of dragonflies was out
Bluets in flower
Fleabane in flower
Flock of white pelicans
Spring beauty
Yellow rumped warbers in trees

gnatcatchers singing
In Baton Rouge - the mockingbirds…