Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Signs of Spring

Whew, I'm really having a hard time adjusting to this Daylight Savings Time! How about you? It usually takes me about a month to get back into the normal routine. I'm looking back on my first year of blogging and trying to figure out how I got so many posts done last year. I guess I need to work on my time management skills a little bit.

So anyway, my mom reported in an e-mail late this afternoon that she has bunches of robins at her house. Wow, that's so exciting! Maybe I will see some in my neighborhood soon. In the nature diary that I keep, red-winged blackbirds and common grackles have shown up in my backyard during this time period. I have yet to see any of those birds this year. We've still got about 6 inches of snow on the ground in most places--some places are much deeper while the ground is starting to show in other places.

Here's a nice picture I took this evening a little before 7:00 PM.

There are two special things about this picture: 1) the temperature - still at 40 degrees (down from our high of around 45 this afternoon) and 2) it's still light enough outside to take a picture without using flash or switching to the "night scene" mode on my camera.

It was a beautiful spring-like day today--a day where we only had to wear a "jacket" outside instead of a "coat." You might think that sounds like a goofy definition of a nice day, but here in Minnesota, there's definitely a difference! (and the record cold of last weekend makes us appreciate nice days like this even more)

Here's another little sign of spring in my yard.....my possum is visiting again. Here are a couple pictures I took of her on Sunday afternoon.

And this evening as she was trying to escape from me and my camera.

She had been cleaning up birdseed under this big pine tree and I decided to take some old apples out as a treat for her to munch on. She's still moving pretty darn slow and I watched her climb into the tree as I walked across the yard. I circled the tree looking high into the branches and then finally found her out on the edge of this lowest branch. I think she was pretending not to see me!

I really like her little pink feet and the way her long tail curls around the tree limb. (I don't know for sure that this possum is a female, I'm just saying she is because she's not very big--about the same size as my kitty.)


mon@rch said...

Wonderful signs of spring and I have been having a hard time with daylight savings! On top of that hour, I needed to go to work an extra hour today! Ugg, that's like 2 hours earlier! Spring . . gets me through the day seeing the birds after work!

Hedgewitch said...

What a great post :-)

Yes, its getting like that here in London, too .. some days are jacket not coat days and I love them!

We have five different feeders on our lilac tree and they are very busy with birds at the moment .. bluetits, great tits, blackbirds, sparrows and our resident robin.

Love your blog .. will be popping back to visit

Jayne said...

We're still adjusting too. Find that I am not really sleepy enough at night, and in the morning, getting out of bed is a chore...bleh. Will take some time for sure. Glad it's feeling less frigid where you are Ruthie. Spring is definitely on the way!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Monarch,
I do like having more light in the evening, but it lures me into staying awake later than I should! I'm hoping my spring birds will start showing up very soon.

Hi Hedgewitch,
Welcome! and thanks for visiting my blog.
Sounds like you've got a good variety of birds at your place. Are they mostly year-round or are you still watching for the spring-time visitors too?

Hi Jayne,
Bleh is right! At least it's nice enough now that I can get outside and start walking again--even after supper! I know we've still got cold weather ahead, but soon the warm days will start to outnumber the cold ones and I'll be ready!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Ruthie I can totally identify with 'wearing just a jacket'. I love that time of year.

Your visitor is cute. I think they are the funniest animals. I bet she was pretending not to see you. After all if she can't see you, you can't see her right??

I am also hating this springing forward business. I wish they would just leave the time alone.

Mary said...


So you've been enjoying the yard and the weather! Yay! Yesterday was less than jacket weather here. Just a sweatshirt! I'm all messed up too - I'm shocked when I look at the clock in the evenings and it's passed 8:00 already. Not getting enough sleep either.

I remember the days when I posted on my blog almost every day. Those days are long gone :o)

I like your little possum friend. Have you named her?


Mel said...

Nice post!
I can always find unknown animals in your blog, thank you for sharing and helping me learn!
Hugs from Peru :)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lisa,
I hope you guys are enjoying more spring-like weather in Indiana now too.
I wish I could have gotten a better picture of that possum in the tree, but I didn't want to disturb her too much or scare her away.

Hi Mary,
I thought about just wearing a sweatshirt, but it was kind of breezy (not 50 MPH though!) The dogs are loving this being outside in this weather too.
Haven't named the possum yet (I'm not very creative like me mom or Richard). Maybe I should have a "name the possum" contest??

Hi Mel,
Possums are funny little critters--not originally native to Minnesota, but they have adapted to our climate over many years. Not sure what their purpose in the wild is, but they are good scavengers and also good at cleaning up under my birdfeeders.
You will have to find out for me if there is a similar animal in Peru.

Anonymous said...

Like the possum pics, I think they are so cute. They move so slow except when I open the patio door to bring in the cat food that they aren't suppose to eat. A couple of times they have just rolled down the steps in such a hurry to get away.
The robins were a total surprise for me yesterday and very welcome. There were several again this morning, acting very scared so I know they are new to the area, not just leftovers from last fall.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ruthie,
Possums are the forest cleaners. They clean-up all the dead things that died during the winter. If we didn't have them around we would have to wait for bigger animals to come in and clean up everything. Also it would probably smell not to nice when it gets too warm. Nature lesson for today.

Meggie said...

Glad to hear that someone else is having trouble adjusting to the change in time. My internal clock isn't cooperating very well. Cute photos of the possum.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
My possum is much smaller than yours. I doubt that she would ever venture close to the house like yours do....the dogs, I suppose.
Still waiting for my robins.....

Hi Dad,
Thanks for the nature lesson. I saw a possum once in the woods by a deer carcass, so at least nothing goes to waste.

Hi Meggie,
That time change is a bugger. Did you notice the time I posted this? I should be in bed sleeping by 9:30 but my body is still thinking it's 8:30! (I've been a little drowsy at work this week)

Marsha said...

Cute little possum photos! I am glad you took the time to go find him in the tree so we could see him.

Aren't you glad we are finally seeing signs of spring?

Hedgewitch said...

ruthie, we do get birds the year round but now is by far the busiest time for them

we are enjoying being able to watch them from our kitchen window because very soon now when the lilac comes out we will lose our view!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I had to laugh at your possum photos. I have had to take possum photos to the doors to our house to remind us to look outside before letting the girls out. They keep cornering possums who are nibbling at the fallen birdseed. One night I thought Sarah was going to actually attack. I had to take the water hose to her! Thank goodness it wasn't frozen that night! Do you know how much damage a possum could do to a tiny little dog?

Robin at Bumblebee

Cathy said...

Well. We truly are soul-sisters. I just threw several chunks of bread and a couple apples out for my night-wandering possum.

I, too - think they're sweet. Most people don't agree.