Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Nine Weeks

Hmmpff! Didn't get nearly as warm today as they forecast it would last Monday. Back then they were saying mid to upper 50s. Today it only got to 35. A windy, chilly, damp 35 at that. You see, the clouds rolled in from the south and brought some rain along with them. Apparently the front associated with that rain slid just a wee bit to our south east and we got the cold side.

Hopefully they are just as wrong about tomorrow's forecast (heavy rain and snow? Seriously?).

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I had my first session of physical therapy (henceforth known as PT for "pain and torture") on Monday afternoon. Spent half the time being evaluated by the head torturer before I was given two stretching exercises to do at home and a third to do while I was still on the slab. Needless to say I felt the stretch afterwards. Sorta like being on the rack but it only affected the buttocks and the hamstrings. They were tight!

I added those two stretching exercises to the repertoire the visiting therapist gave me a couple of weeks ago and have been doing them twice a day as ordered. Only good thing about those two new exercises is that I can do them laying down.

Bright and early tomorrow morning I go back to Elite for my second session of PT. Wonder what they'll have me doing next?

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I supplemented my at home PT with a little yard work the past two days. Did a little walking across the yard to and from the burn barrel on Tuesday when the winds were calm. Our garbage mail, boxes and miscellaneous paper had been building up for a good long time and had to go. I figured the extra CO2 wouldn't hurt either since we here at the Aerie are in the cold zone of the globe. Hell, we've been colder than Anchorage all winter.

Today, I tried to make amends to Terry for throwing so many stones into her flower beds next to the driveway. Holy mother Mary! Were there a lot of stones! It's surprising that I "only" broke two shear pins on the snow thrower way back when. I cleared about four square feet and could have filled a 5-gallon bucket. Then my fingers got cold and my back and knees cried, "Uncle!"

While clearing stones I had to be careful not to step on the small, green spears of the day lilies that were just poking their noses above ground. There was some green showing on a few other plants as well even as snow remained heaped on the edge of the driveway a mere foot away.

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Yesterday and today, every time I went outside for more than five minutes I was sure to hear the honking of geese or swans high over head. Yesterday I could watch them head north at a leisurely pace. Today, with the winds out of the south at 20-30 mph with a few gusts higher, they went sailing along like a 20-meter vessel in the America's Cup. If I blinked, they were out of sight.

The feeder birds are still with us. I thought the redpolls had caught on and headed north, but they seem to like my sunflower seeds. The siskins are still here, too. Then there's the usual crew (chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmice, mourning dove, downy woodpecker, red-bellied
woodpecker, dark-eyed junco, and a host (horde?) of goldfinches.

I can hear redwings down the hill near the farm ponds and reeds but they haven't come to the feeders. The robins are also busy establishing dominance and territory although few have visited the lawn. Not that I blame them. The lawn is pretty much still frozen and any earthworm would need tunneling drills to emerge.

Still hear the occasional owl on the hill after dark, but I'm still waiting for my first woodcock flight at twilight.

There have been a few turkey vultures come soaring by and the ravens are still dancing in the wind--when they can get away from the nests.

I need to get out and do some birding! Unfortunately, all the lakes are still frozen as are the marshes. They are the main attractants around here until the warblers show up.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Dalek Relaxation Tape

Just because.


Well, THAT Was Disappointing

*sigh* Awoke this morning to another fresh snowfall. It amounted to less than half an inch but still....

Then it stayed cloud and overcast for the rest of the day. While it did reach 39 degrees at the Aerie, that was about 5 degrees--and a whole lot of sunshine--less than I expected. Late afternoon did see a bit of a drizzle that, along with the 39 degrees, helped melt some of the snow that fell yesterday and today. Still have a considerable amount to go. Tomorrow's temperatures won't help but, maybe, if the sun comes out, it should get the driveway and lawn back to where they were on Thursday. Maybe.

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Terry made a big pot of split pea soup today. So thick that if you turned the spoon upside down, it took a long time falling (not dripping!) off. Just the way I like it.

And this evening we went to the United Methodist Church in bustling downtown Mainesburg (consists of a dozen houses, the grist mill, and the church) for a chicken-and-biscuits dinner.

Makes up for this morning's snow.

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Still have a considerable number of Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins hanging around the feeders. Mentioned them at the Audubon meeting on Wednesday and everyone was like, "Wow!"  Apparently we are the only ones around that have had them visiting this winter.

Also have the usual crowd of Black-capped Chickadees, American Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos, Mouring Doves, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Blue Jays....

Wednesday the weekend's winds from the north died down and I saw several huge flocks of Snow Geese flying north.They were up quite high but the sun lit them up like beacons. Sprinkled among two of the flocks (each numbering in the 2-300 range) were a few darker birds which may have been the dark morph sometimes called a Blue Goose. One flock, however, had a separate wing of a dozen or so dark birds which I speculate may have been Canada Geese.

The Snow Geese sound slightly different than Canadas and their organization is, well, a bit sloppier. Their Vs aren't quite as crisp being more like a wide bottomed U instead. And they argue about who should be the leader more instead of a well regimented rotation of that lead position. That said, they sure knew which direction was North!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Eight Weeks

Thursday marked the eighth week since my back surgery. I didn't post anything that day because I had reported on my Tuesday visit to the surgeon in my previous post: Progress! Needless to say, I've made some. Progress that is.

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The Seavey clan is making a habit of winning the Iditarod. Dallas and his father, Mitch have one the last four races. This year, Dallas finished first with a time of 8 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes and 6 seconds. Mitch came into Nome second some 4 hours later. Dallas has now won in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Mitch won in 2004 and 2013. (See all the past winners here.)

The race isn't finished yet, however. There are still 32 teams out there as I type. (One is between Safety and Nome and should be getting there any. Minute. Now.) Rookie Musher Cindy Abbott is the current Red Lantern (last place).

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Just when you thought winter was over.... We got a snowfall of about two inches today. I had just gotten excited about seeing real grass and dirt again, too. Now everything is once again covered in white. It might not last long, however. Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the mid 40s with a slight chance of a rain shower. That should be enough to melt the new snow. If not, the sun will shine brightly on Sunday and even though the temps won't be as warm they should nudge above freezing.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Progress!

Went to see the surgeon today. I no longer need to wear the back brace and I can have my car keys back! Yahoo!

Also got a scrip for some PT which I will take down to Elite Therapy tomorrow so as to set up a schedule. The PT is mostly to regain the flexibility of back and legs that I have lost since the surgery.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Short Spring-Summer-Fall

Last week we had temperatures in the high 40s with even a 50 or two thrown in. Even Friday the 13th was a lovely day with plenty of warmth and sunshine.

Then Saturday arrived and we got rain--but at least it was still warmish with temps in the 40 degree neighborhood.

Today...Well, today we had a bit of freezing something early in the morning with lots of high flying gray clouds streaming out of the north-northwest all day long. And the temperature stayed right around 28-29 degrees from sunrise to sunset.Guess we're back to winter.

*sigh* They do say beware the ides of March.

So need warmer weather to melt the rest of the snow on the lawn and gardens. I am resigned to the fact that the heaps on the sides of the driveway/parking area will be there until late April. I hope they won't be here longer than that!

At least the guys with sugar bushes will enjoy the cold nights and above freezing(?) days the next couple of weeks.

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Terry's flight from Louisville was cancelled when the plane got grounded in Kansas City due to mechanical problems. She could have taken a later flight to Chicago, but there would be no connection to Corning-Elmira. The airlines is putting her up in a hotel for the night and she will be flying out tomorrow morning.