Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekend Wishes

Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Spring!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

William & Leona

During my recent visit to Jerusalem Pond, I was amazed to see four Canada Geese peacefully coexisting together on a relatively tiny body of water.  Inside sources tell me this communal harmony extends throughout the breeding/nesting season.

Animals, much like people, have unique personalities and character traits. For several years, William and Leona have established themselves as the resident nesting pair of Canada Geese at Bon Bon Pond. I love them dearly, but friendly they ain't.  I fervently wish they would be more sociable and accepting of their brethren. 

Between the three ponds, there would seem more than enough room for several nesting pairs, plus the occasional straggler--but William and Leona have other ideas. The duo have staked claim to the ENTIRE area and Heaven help any poor goose who lands here. 

For the past two weeks, it's been a three-ring circus (make that three "pond" circus) as my gruesome twosome have chased, stalked, attacked and driven out any interlopers. Around 4:00 p.m. yesterday, I noticed a lone goose enjoying a late lunch of cracked corn on the bank below my porch. Having just returned home from shopping, I knew W & L were patrolling the south pond. I grabbed refreshments and prepared myself for the spectacle soon to unfold. Sure as shootin', in the swish of a tail feather, my gangsta' geese were on the scene in attack mode and put the run on the poor unsuspecting wayfarer. 

Guess my etiquette lessons haven't been working. Back to the drawing board! I wonder if Dr. Phil would take my call . . .

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Buddy

Monday, March 26, 2012

On the Road Report

St. Croix Falls is a lovely little western  Wisconsin town nestled along the banks of the scenic St. Croix River, right across the border from Taylors Falls, MN.  In the residential area there resides a darling body of water that homeowners have named Jerusalem Pond.  Over the years, the kindhearted citizenry have turned this wetland into a wildlife refuge.  A waterfowl “house” was built and a fountain installed to keep water flowing freely in cold temps.  Corn is provided, as is straw for bedding in the winter. In short, it’s a safe haven for ducks and geese.

But this year, Jerusalem Pond is under assault by a stealth enemy named DROUGHT.  The Minnesota  Department of Natural Resources has this to say:

“Climatologists define drought as a period of abnormally dry and/or unusually hot weather sufficiently prolonged for the corresponding deficiency of water to cause a ‘serious hydrologic imbalance.’ More simply put, too dry and/or too hot for too long. Interpreting what is 'too dry' or what is 'too long' is difficult. What is known is that when a serious hydrologic imbalance occurs in Minnesota, soil moisture reserves, groundwater supplies, lake levels and stream flows are negatively influenced. Water-dependent industries including agriculture, public utilities, forestry, and tourism are profoundly affected. Although droughts are not as sudden as floods, the economic aspects of droughts can be just as significant.”

The problem is so severe in the Land of 10,000 Lakes--and countless wetlands--that a Google search for Minnesota Drought returns 6,700,000 hits!  To combat the drought crisis, the DNR has in place  a formal Minnesota Statewide Drought Plan.

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, all of Minnesota is now officially suffering drought conditions.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a cooler and drier than average summer, but their prognostication for the winter was way off, i.e.  “colder than normal,” so it’s hoped this one misses the mark as well.

In the meantime, the Upper Midwest hopes and prays for replenishing spring rains. 

Jerusalem Pond


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend Wishes

and take time to enjoy
the great outdoors! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Eastern Phoebe Homecoming!

The Eastern Phoebes have returned home!  This morning, while enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch, my sweet little “tail-wagers” suddenly appeared, excitedly flying in to make sure their longtime mud and stick nests were still safe and sound under the porch eaves.  

 I feel a special bond with these birds as their forebears moved in when my father built the porch in 1973 and they have lived here with us ever since.   

From the vantage point of our easy chairs--mere inches from their nests--we have watched these hard-working avians raise their young year after year.  These summer birds rarely leave the forest area adjacent to the house.  When they are not busy nesting they act as house sentinels, sitting on the step railings patrolling for harmful insects and keeping us humans safe. I cannot imagine what the warm weather months would be like here without my friends the Phoebes. 

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is certainly something to sing about!  I must confess, I've been channeling my inner Streisand and performing Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here to my  peonies, irises, and tiger lilies and, lo and behold, I’ve got buds!  So put a song in your heart and start serenading your snapdragons and soon your flower bed will be bursting with blooms!  

Sing-a-long Song Lyrics:

Hurry It's Lovely Up Here

Hey buds below ... up is where to grow
Up with which below can't compare with.
Hurry - it's lovely up here ...
Life down a hole takes an awful toll,
What with not a soul there to share with
Hurry - it’s lovely up here!
Wake up, bestir yourself, it's time that you disinter yourself
You’ve got a spot to fill - a pot to fill
And what a gift package of showers, sun and love
You’ll be met above everywhere with,
Fondled and sniffed by millions who drift by,
Life here is rosy - if you’re a posy
Hurry it's lovely here!
Climb up geranium, it can’t be fun subterranean
On the exterior, it’s cheerier
RSVP peonies, pollinate the breeze,
Make the queen of bees hot as brandy
Come give at least a preview of Easter
Come up and see the good we're giving
Come up and see the grounds for living
Come poke your head out,
Open up and spread out,
Hurry it’s lovely here!

Up come the tiger lillies!
Up come the irises!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Release the Woollies!


Not quite as dramatic, but noteworthy none the less—on Tuesday, the Woolly Bear Caterpillars were “released” from their Tupperware containers in the crisper section of the fridge.  Thanks to an early spring, leaves of green grass are in abundance for our hungry soon-to-be Isabella Tiger Moths.    The tiny little black and brown brush sticks were carefully placed under cover of leaves  and left with water nearby. 
Happy cocooning little friends!  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Myrna Jacobs Photography


Today we are proud to showcase the work of professional photographer Myrna Jacobs.  The photo below is entitled Secret Orchard and captures flowering fruit trees Myrna found hidden in Michigan in springtime.  This landscape scene is so lovely, it looks like a painting!  Thank you, Myrna, for sharing your talent with us.


To see more of the incredible artwork of Myrna Jacobs, please visit her online galleries:

Trumpeter Swans



Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Migrators Return!


Bon Bon Pond opened up today, summoning more summer sojourners. The beautiful Hooded Mergansers have arrived! I hope to get some photos tomorrow.
Rumor has it a pair of Trumpeter Swans have been spotted in the area!

Today's original artwork appears courtesy of our friends at Pink Dragonfly Paper Creations. Thanks for sharing your lovely graphic with us, Wanda! To see more darling Dragonfly designs, please visit their website:

Sunday Greetings!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!



Friday, March 16, 2012

Xcel to the Rescue!

Bon Bon Pond’s gray squirrels were celebrating this morning.  Karma finally caught up with “The Assassin”—i.e. the nasty old electrical transformer that had thinned their ranks as of late.

A three-man crew from Xcel energy arrived bright and early with a flotilla of equipment and set about the task of removing the old murderous unit and replacing it with a brand spankin’ new, state-of-the-art model complete with sophisticated critter protection. 

Three cheers for Xcel Energy!  Let the good times roll!

  Here they come!

 Up goes the new!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Back to Bon Bon Pond


Local meteorologists aren’t sure if the unseasonably warm weather will hold but the temperate temps seem to have convinced the wildlife spring has sprung and it’s the real deal.  Buddy, the Bon Bon Pond woodchuck, awoke from his winter slumber today and made rounds ‘round the property to see what’s shakin’.

After his morning constitutional he settled in with the birds and squirrels to enjoy a hearty breakfast of sunflower seeds and cracked corn.

One more happy return.  But still no sign of our Eastern Phoebes.  ???

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Thanks to our friends Nina and Mick for sharing their photos of one wayfaring seagull who arrived at their inland Newmarket, New Hampshire home’s porch on March second.

PhotobucketAccording to Wiki answers, these smart saltwater birds can live up to a mile inland, but will migrate south, often traveling thousands of miles in search of plentiful food.  Seagulls aren’t picky eaters and will dine on anything from fish to small rodents.  Like the rest of us, they also enjoy french fries!

Unlike most animals, seagulls can drink both fresh and salt water. Thanks to a special pair of glands located above their eyes, salt is flushed from their system through openings in the bill.

Nina found her guests fascinating to watch.  “When they stand in the snow” she observed, “they take turns standing on each leg. They tuck the one not in use up in their feathers.”

Seagulls that live near The Great Salt Lake in Utah once saved Mormon farmers from marauding locusts, and earned themselves not only the moniker of "The Mormon Air Force", but the honor of being named the State bird of Utah!



Spring Migration in Minnesota


An afternoon trip to the mailbox brought a most wonderful surprise.  As soon as the door opened, I heard the distinctive trilling.  My heart leapt with joy at the return of a dear friend: the Red-winged Blackbird.  In the summer,  he lives in the cattails over on the South Pond, but spends most of his day here snacking, or singing--perched high in his favorite red oak tree.   The friendly and talkative Red-winged Blackbird  is a sure sign of seasonal change, but I cannot recall another spring when his arrival has  preceded the Eastern Phoebes—usually the harbingers of warm weather to Bon Bon Pond.  

Listen to the call of the Red-winged Blackbird: