Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Fever

This is what 123 inches of melted snow looks like. The frost isn't out of the ground yet, so there it sits. It doesn't look like we'll be doing any yard work for, at least, another month. THIS is the part of spring I HATE! The days are warmer, so we feel like being outdoors. BUT, there's not a damned thing we can do out there! Our landscape is nothing but dreary, leafless, muddy, dirty SLOP! Cabin fever is at it's worst now.

Adding to our misery is the epidemic deaths of Red Polls in our county. Red Polls are tough, cheerful little birds that always brighten our winters. They are so tough that our area is their idea of flying south for the winter. They should have headed back to their Arctic Circle breeding grounds by now. I imagine our late spring has kept them here longer than usual.

The past 2 weeks I've picked up 5 Red Poll bodies from our back yard. I feared Bird Flu. This happened about 5 yrs ago with Pine Ciskins and Slate-Colored Juncoes being the victims. At that time, our local DNR office tested the bodies for disease, with no conclusive results. The DNR's theory was that there must have been some kind of fungus in the bird seed that everybody was feeding the birds.

This time one of our local vets tested the bodies and found a salmonella epidemic. Fortunately, we'd already moved Hairry to the front yard, and away from our birdfeeder, when our back yard flooded.

In an article in our local paper, our vet suggests that we all take down, and sterilize, our birdfeeders for the remainder of the spring bird migration. I really hate to do this as the influx of birds to our feeder is the bright spot of our spring. I also hate to deny food to our nesting chickadees. But if this is what it takes to help slow the spread of disease in our bird population, I guess we'll have to comply.


The good news is that our grill is now accessible. L will be grilling the first steaks of the season tonight!

18 Comments:

At 4/19/2009 9:32 AM, Blogger Jeannie said...

Our snow pretty much left us a month ago and somehow drained away without and backups so we haven't had so much mud this year. I have mounds of dog poop in the yard to clean up - a chore I'm not sure anyone else cares to believe even exists.

 
At 4/19/2009 11:10 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Yay BBQ season!

That's shitty about the birds dying. I hope they can forage enough to survive without human help, but the vet's probably right in the end.

Our snow is almost gone!

 
At 4/19/2009 11:31 AM, Blogger Hammer said...

We have tons of birds but I can't feed them because the squirrels destroy the feeders. So they eat our dog food instead.

When I find a dead one I dispose of it before the dogs get ahold of the carcass.

 
At 4/19/2009 5:43 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

Yay for grilled steaks! I hope your ground thaws soon enough to take those puddles down. I watch that here every spring, but it's never on my own property. So sad about the birds. Sorry you won't be seeing your beautiful, feathered friends this year.

 
At 4/19/2009 6:03 PM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

I am glad I dont live there anymore with all that water. Yuckie.. We have rain today but no snow or at least not right this minute. Its suppose to tonight but I am hoping it just rains..

 
At 4/19/2009 7:00 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Jeannie, Z kept the dog poop pretty well cleaned up back there. Whatever poop is left, is melted in the water. Fertilizer anyone? ;)

WC, there really isn't much for the birds to eat yet, but I guess they'll manage. :(

Hammer, the squirrels haven't been able to get into our feeder since I mounted it on PVC sewer pipe.

I had to pick up another body after I wrote this, and there's 2 more that don't look like they'll make it. :(

Squirl, L's out there grilling right now. I can't wait!

Tweets, at least our fire danger is low. ;p

 
At 4/20/2009 6:34 AM, Blogger mister anchovy said...

yuk...hopefully the ground will thaw soon and all that water will be history. At least you can grill!

I hope the bird population recovers ok!

 
At 4/20/2009 11:17 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

So what time's dinner? :-)

 
At 4/20/2009 5:04 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Mr A, thank heavens for the sidewalk that leads to the grill!
Watching the birds die is breaking my heart.

VV, too late, you missed it! Tonight I'm making pepper steak with the leftovers if you're interested. ;)

 
At 4/21/2009 3:10 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

Hey we have snow right now... It started about ten o'clock last night.. Its slackened but still snowing..

 
At 4/21/2009 7:20 AM, Blogger Suldog said...

Spring flooding. Many moons ago, I inherited a house from my Dad, in New Hampshire, and every Spring it was 50/50 that we'd have to make a claim on the flood insurance. Glad I don't have to deal with that anymore!

 
At 4/21/2009 7:57 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Ahh, we usually do fajitas with left over steak. Enjoy. I'm hoping to get a new post up soon. Been unbelievably swamped with politics and remodeling our downstairs bathroom.

 
At 4/22/2009 5:34 AM, Blogger Cherie said...

A lovely Zen reflecting pool - and it's free!

Okay, maybe that's putting too positive a spin on it?

Sorry about the birdies... ;(

Happy about the steaks!

You'll be joining us in mowing, weeding, planting, and even - gasp - watering flower pots in no time.

 
At 4/22/2009 10:34 PM, Blogger Maddy said...

Oh I'm so glad you could end on a happy note!
Best wishes

 
At 4/23/2009 5:01 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Suldog, this year was as close as we've ever come to flooding. It would take about 3 more feet of water to reach the house. I shudder to think of the amount of snow it would take for that to happen.

VV, I'm anxiously awaiting pics of your bathroom project.

Cherie, it would make a better reflecting pool if it wasn't reflecting my neighbor's horrific garage project.

Maddy, I always try to find one thing to be grateful for every day. Some days it isn't too easy.

 
At 4/24/2009 7:38 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Oi, I have to go to the baseball field, I don't know where my posts went.

 
At 4/25/2009 8:47 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

New bathroom post is up! :-)

 
At 4/25/2009 9:44 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Gardenia, a lot of other people are having that problem too. What's up with blogger now?

VV, it's about time! ;)

 

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