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Sunday, March 2, 2008

First signs of Impending Spring on an Ozark Dairy

1. In mid February the buzzards (turkey vultures) start coming back north to replace the bald eagles. We see them, buzzards, alongside the road snacking on the occasional unfortunate skunk or opossum.

2. Also in mid February we start craning our necks to watch the honking wedges of Canadian geese headed back home. It always gives me this wild, wistful feeling to hear them as they go. Some of the flocks are huge and you can hear them long before you see them.

3. Above mentioned skunks start roaming around in Feb also; the prime breeding month for the stinky little monsters. They are out trolling for mates; which is how they become road kill more often in Feb than in any other month.

4. Along about now; early March, we will get a couple of nice warm days where it stays above freezing ALL NIGHT and gets quite warm during the day; this brings out the peepers, these beensy little frogs that are also trolling for mates and make this shrill piping peep. In peak season; a few weeks from now after last frost date, the peepers are so loud that it makes your skull vibrate if you are out there too long in the evenings.

5. I can't verify this with scientific proof but I think that about this time of the winter the cows start to gag on hay and long for green grass to snarf up. They also LOVE the wild garlic that starts to put up shoots in early spring. Sometimes the garlic is so plentiful and they eat so much of it that they stink up the barn during milking.

6. The seed catalogs start pouring in and we start getting garden fever. It's great fun to look through them but most of the stuff is so expensive to order; we can get things much cheaper in town.

*sigh* That is all I can think of for the moment.


Donna. W said...

Buzzards creep me out if I have to look at them close-up, but I love to watch them soaring above the pasture.

Calfkeeper said...

Yes, buzzards are creepy up close. But they are a great help here on the dairy.