We set up a 50 gallon watering tub under the eaves on our deck to catch water dripping off the roof. Cullen readily jumps into the tub after a walk that has left his paws somewhat dirty. Now Tripp has been trained to do the same. After the ‘wash’ the dogs can drip dry on the deck or in the mud room before coming into the house. It helps reduce the amount of dirt and silt tracked into the house.
As the ice melts off our ponds we begin to monitor the water temperature and guess when the catfish and bass will be eager to eat. This year that date was April 8th. We fed a small amount of fish food to a few rather sluggish but hungry catfish, skipped a day and then fed a more more active group the following day. Tripp was fascinated by the fish activity.
To celebrate my retirement Kathryn planned an overnight trip to the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg. Frederic Remington was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the U.S. Cavalry.
We had fantastic weather and enjoyed siting alongside the St Lawrence River; reading and watching the boats pass by.
I was a little late starting my garden seeds this year, but withing the range of start dates from other years. I started 20 plants of three different types of tomatoes: Early Girl, Roma and a Heirloom Orange tomato. I also started 10 each of brussel sprouts, Broccoli and egg plant. All but the egg plant were sprouting 4 days later.
On April Fools Day we were surprised to see a 4′ tall Sandhill Crane in the field south of our house. The birds are mostly slate gray colored, with some tan/brownish feathers on their sides and underside, and a red crown on their head around their eyes. When they fly, they keep their necks and legs extended. Within the last few decades, Sandhill Cranes have greatly expanded their nesting range and numbers. It’s been a record year for migrating sandhill cranes at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. “This year we had the highest number of sandhill cranes ever reported during a fall migration – 256. Recently they have become an occasional breeder in Upstate NY including Tupper Lake. Sandhill Cranes nesting in north migrate long distances. The cranes come to mid-continent to rest and refuel – beginning in late February through early April.
Tripp has been itchy and shedding in a new coat. Eric volunteered to give him a bath. Tripp isn’t a brave dog but he is accepting and you can build his confidence up to tolerate new and challenging places. He was coy, but ended up willing to enter the shower stall and receive his first bath.
Given a forecast with promising weather forecasts – sunny and temperatures in the mid- 40s and low 50s Kathryn and I decided to shovel the snow off one of the Marcy pickleball courts so we could play outside. If we had known how difficult the task would be we likely would have deferred. We shoveled for 2 hours on Sunday and 3 hours on Monday. The snow was solid blocks about 11″ thick. Our approach was to chop a block and then carry it to stack against the fence. Tuesday Kathryn and I gave it a try. The snow banks were very close to the out of boundary lines, but playable. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we played doubles with friends before the weather turned cold again.
We have received some sizeable snow falls that threatened to obscure our previously made trails. And with the temperatures staying cold we have maintained our snowshoe / XC ski trails with little snow loss. We have about 2+ feet of snow laying on the ground. The deeper snow is nice as it keeps Tripp from running around chasing animal tracks. After a few strides into the deep stuff he usually decides the trail is a better option. Cullen usually tracks last.
We made a new loop, Gary’s Loop, to give us an alternative to our 1 mile dog ‘walk’ and worked to keep a good trail on the Lollipop Loop. Saturday Kathryn and I snow-shoed ~3 miles of the ‘handle’ and left side of the loop (6 -12 clockwise on a clock face). Sunday we completed the clock face (counter clockwise) to finish off the trail. It was a great day for a long snowshoe through the woods.; although Kathryn swapped for her skis for a glide back home.
Kathryn and I got the second Pfizer shot today. So far, no side effects to mention, knock on wood. In fact, it doesn’t even hurt as much as it did with the first one. I hope tonight goes well. They told us NOT to take ANYTHING (no Tylenol, no aspirin, no nothing) unless you “can’t bear it” and “simply can’t stand it.” They said that several times, and told us both the same thing. We don’t want anything to interfere with your immune system response, they said. We want your immune system to go full bore and do it’s job, they said.
Eric has been working part time at Olney’s Flowers to help with the Valentine’s Day rush. Eric had his first “slip and slide” on his way to work. It was precipitating very lightly – freezing rain. He didn’t make the corner by Edwards Road and got into the icy snowbank but missed the signs. We pulled him out with the truck. He said “I braked too late. Now I realize you need to slow down BEFORE you get into the curve.” I told him “Slow the F###down!” but otherwise no yelling. Lesson learned, we hope. Minor damage to the front fender, which popped out a little bit. Major learning experience, we hope.
Eric is working again this week T/Th/Fr/Su so I guess they are keeping him on for now – even though he was late to work today! (only 30 minutes, and he said he got teased good for the accident). He said they were pretty busy today. Last minute shoppers, I guess. We packed a trail from cookout corner across Gary’s hay field, up through the lane connecting to the “Deer Stand Field”, through the pine woods and connecting with our previous trail to the top of Kirkland’s field. The snow was heavy wet and deep but packed down to make a decent XC trail.