Friday, April 06, 2007

Minnesota Springs

Spring has come and gone on the Gunflint. In fact, fall and summer have too. We are back to winter. On Tuesday and Wednesday we got 6-8 inches of snow. It was probably one of our biggest snowfalls of the season. Bruce says it would be beautiful in November just before deer hunting opened. In April it is not so pretty but there is not much to be done about. To add insult to injury, the temperatures have dropped too. Each of the last two mornings we have had a reading of 3 degrees. Eventually, spring will truly be here.

Two fox have been coming in regularly. They are both small but one has a short front right leg. We think it may have been caught in a trap but it is hard to get a good view of the leg. Certainly the animal moves around very well.

It is the second animal that has us wondering. We think it may be a female who is pregnant. Her lower middle seems to be dropping down. She seems very broad in the beam. Also she is very brave about getting food. She will take food from both Bruce’s and my hand. She is very gentle about it but also comes right up to us. There is a small, heavily wooded tree area between our garden and the road. That is where she goes with her food. Perhaps there is a den in the woods. We seem to think that kits come early in May. It would be fun to see them out sunning in the garden.

Not all the other animals in the neighborhood are happy to have the fox around. There are noticeably fewer squirrels and chipmunks. The other day we watched a squirrel cautiously poke his head out of his hole in our rock garden. A few minutes later he looked out from another hole. Then there was a final hole he looked out of. When he finally came out, it was to stand on his hind legs and look up at the rock garden behind him. This is the first time we have seen that kind of activity.

Today we also had a frozen, dead chipmunk outside the kitchen window. I enjoy watching the antics of chipmunks but wish they would just disappear in late June and July. That is when the garden strawberries are ripe. Chipmunks love to move in and take one bite out of each strawberry. I am not very willing to share with them.

During the snowstorm I ordered my garden seeds for this summer. One of the sales clerks was very apologetic. Their order department was so busy that they could not ship my order for two weeks. I told her not to worry. I wasn’t going to be planting anything for some time yet.

The snowstorm did bring one project to a dead halt. The weather had been so nice that I was agitating to get the garden furniture out. There were several days when it was nice enough to eat lunch outside. That dream will have to be put off for a bit yet. Instead I hauled in more wood for the fireplace.

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