Cold frames and Sandhill Cranes

I’ve been hearing that funny warbley call of the Sandhill crane again. It sounds like the noise made by one of those ribbed tubes that you get at carnivals that make a weird noise when you whirl them in the air. I heard them before I saw them as happens so often:

http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?curFamilyID=257&curGroupID=1&lgfromWhere=&curPageNum=2

Yesterday, I saw  12 of these great birds flying in a V formation (like the geese that return a little earilier if they ever leave at all!) toward the cornfields just outside of town.

I’ve been hearing the song of the tufted titmouse as well. It had me puzzled for a while

A late-summer picture of a Tufted Titmouse feeding on my front 40 (feet!).

because I wasn’t connecting their call with the bird I saw on the feeder. I was also having a hard time spotting the bird that was making all the noise. I was looking for a big bird (for the amount of noise it was making!), not expecting to see a sparrow-size bird:

http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?allSpecies=y&searchText=tufted%20titmouse&curGroupID=1&lgfromWhere=&curPageNum=1

Since the titmouse song had drawn me outside, I decided to take the insulation board off my newly planted cold frame. The temperature inside the frame was above freezing, and the early morning sun was already shining on it. When I turned the soil over before planting the day before, I noticed that there were still ice crystals in some of the bigger lumps of soil. I wanted to catch all the solar possible to melt those final bits of ice and hasten germination of my greens and Italian cut-and-come-again mix.

Spring has finally come. We should have at least one more snowstorm to come in the early part of April, but that will melt quickly to water the crocus! Begonia

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