One day this week, while going into town the back way, I noticed this big, brown draft horse in a field.  I wanted to be his friend, so I began stopping along the road, making sure that no car could hit me accidentally, and whispered to him softly.  I did this every day for a few days.  Once, he was 100 feet away and after I talked to him he actually came up to the fence and faced me.  Finally, today, he was right by the fence waiting for me to arrive.  I got out of the car and spoke softly to him, and offered him an apple on the palm of my hand.  He did not take it, but I reached out and petted him on the nose, being scared at the same time that he might bite me.  He didn’t move.  Next time I pass him, I will try giving him a carrot.  I have never made friends with a horse before.  I am thrilled we are getting to know each other, and that he was waiting for me today.  I don’t know his name yet, but it doesn’t matter.  He responds to my soft tones.

I actually took two layers of clothing off when I was outside. Spring is two days plus four weeks away. I checked the eight day forecast–every day was the fifties and sixties. I could not believe it. We only had one extended freeze this winter. Is there any more cold weather in the future. And snow?!  What a warm winter so far!

The Titmouse or Tufted Titmouse (two names for the same bird) are very common yet I never saw a nesting spot for it.  We were pulling in the driveway and I saw a titmouse fly out of a hole in a tree about five feet up across the street.  I investigated and another one flew out of the hole in the tree.  It must have a nest there.  That was a first.  I never found a nesting spot of a titmouse before.  I really do not want to disturb them any more than I have to.  I will just keep my eyes open for that hole in the tree.

I never knew what Coco, one of our dogs, caught.  She and the other two dogs were having their last “out” of the evening.  I thought, at first, Coco had a bone in her mouth and would not drop it to get her evening biscuit.

I realized it was more than that.  It was alive although I could not tell what creature she had in her mouth.  The lighting was not too good.  First I thought she caught “Oscar” our “local” rat but the animal had fur.

I grabbed the animal out of her mouth and it lay in front of the door.  My wife was screaming, “Get it out of the house!”

Finally I scooped it up with a cat scooper and dropped it over the fence onto our driveway.  At the same time one of our cats got out.

Seconds later I got a flashlight and shined it on the spot I dropped the animal.  It was nowhere to be seen.

It is possible the animal was just stunned (Coco has retriever blood in her) or the cat grabbed it who escaped.  My wife thought the animal might have been a baby squirrel.  I will never know for sure.  I felt bad for the animal hours (an hour) later.  There was nothing else I could do.

The rat I called “Oscar” was very cautious.  He lived under our concrete porch.  I would watch for him from our large living room window.  He would dash out five feet and feed on the spilled sunflower seed from our feeder overhead.  He would only spend a few seconds feeding and immediately dash back to the safety of his entrance.


He would sometimes share the space with the squirrels.  Once he actually briefly rubbed noses with a squirrel and then there was a brief tousle and both creatures fled the scene.  Sometimes he chases the squirrels away.  I never watched a rat so closely.  I have seen mice before but this is the first I have ever seen a rat.  I am concerned where he will go if we block his openings.

For a short time all the trees were covered with snow.  It was April ninth and we had a “dusting” of snow–an inch or two.  It was not unheard of:  a snow “storm” this late in spring but it definitely was unusual.  The trees did not stay white too long.  I am waiting for the warmer weather to return.  And it will.  The forecast for my birthday less than a week away called for sixty degree weather and clear skies.

I decided to visit my creek.  Half the time or more it is dry.  We have been getting some rain and I glanced down in the water and saw a ?frog disappear under a rock.  That was a first.  It is not unusual for toads to be found in our front yard.  Sometimes I even find toads in our garage.  That was the first time I ever saw a frog in that tiny creek.

In a mere four days spring arrives.  I usually start a countdown to spring earlier but this weather was unusually warmer.  The primrose and crocuses have bloomed.  The daffodils are next.  Pretty soon we will start planting pansies and other flowers.

It was an unusual slate colored junco–more commonly called “snow” birds. Usually you only see the white on their tail wings as they flick them but this particular bird had one side of its tail showing white all the time.  I noticed this particular bird for weeks.  It was about a week until spring and they migrate north so don’t know how much longer that bird will be around.  It seemed only a few weeks ago we had a large snow storm and slate colored juncos were all over the yard feeding on the birdseed I put out on the top of the snow.

March ninth was the first day this year we played Scrabble in our yard. We were in the middle of a heat wave for this time of the year. I counted seventeen wide open purple crocuses and today one yellow primrose opened with more on the way. I know the temperature will get colder and more seasonal but I am enjoying this burst of spring.

Spring is coming, Spring is coming !!! I am waiting for today and tomorrow to end. Then we get five days of Spring-like weather. My crocuses have eleven buds, and the daffodils are getting higher and higher. I know the cold weather this year was short, but I still remember those ice cold days we had. Spring is less than two weeks away, and I can’t wait for it to come.

A Harbinger Of Spring

Author: siggy

Some daffodils were poking their heads under the tree. This was a harbinger of spring. I checked the bed of primrose–no flowers yet.