You know it's Spring when

The turtles are out! :+1:

The Canada geese are quiet (nesting). :+1:

The local river is up to 65 degrees. :+1:


Peace and quiet is destroyed by recreational powerboaters and you hear people shouting to each other so they can hear above the radio which is loud so you can hear it over the motor. :-1:

Yesterday was like the first summer weekend in SW MI and after getting passed by a parade of three high speed powerboats I realized it’s time to spend more time and effort getting to places where powerboats can’t go. :grin:


We are having a hard time getting the air to 60 degrees in the West this year. The water is absolutely cold in the rivers around 40-43 degrees. The lakes are not much warmer.

Life jackets and wet suits and dry suits. It is the killing season.

Spring is late.

Winter Storm Warning
Issued: 3:08 AM Apr. 16, 2023 – National Weather Service


  • WHAT…Rain changing to sleet, freezing rain then all snow. Total
    snow and sleet accumulations between 4 and 9 inches and ice
    accumulations around a light glaze. Locally higher snow amounts in
    western Vilas and Oneida counties. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph.

…the Turkey Vultures are baaaaack, and hallelujah!!!

Hallelujah because that other sign of spring—people shooting and dumping skunks and other unwanteds anywhere that is NITOBY*—made an appearance already.

*Not In Their Own Back Yard

Other welcomed avian arrivals: Black-Chinned Sparrow, Canyon Wren, Western Meadowlark, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Mourning Dove, big flocks of American Robin (they vanish from our area during winter), Bewick’s Wren and its melodious song.

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What do the skunk-dumpers do the rest of the year … go dumpster-diving for medical waste … rob kids’ lemonade stands? A classy lot, that.

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Your :eyes: itch.

The St Johns dolphins are again regularly visiting the St Johns - Jacksonville section (about 20 miles up river from ocean). Usually I don’t see them from December through March.
Though this past winter, I did see them a couple of times. (warm winter?)
Throughout winter they regularly go up as far as the Dames Pt bridge (about 10 miles up river).
Yesterday on a paddle downriver & back, they gave me a bit of a greeting - splashing around me (tail flap), squeaking at me. (no jumping, however, I don’t get to see them do that very much).


Neither of those. Think “rural trashneck activities” instead.

Dumping unwanted dogs, cats, squirrels—dead or alive.
Dumping dead goats, sheep, coyotes, raccoons, poached deer or elk in part or whole.
Dumping all kinds of manmade trash, but especially alcoholic bev containers.
Careening into and over berms, ditches, utility poles and signs, fences, with motor vehicles of all kinds (usually drunk).
Shooting up things just for fun—things that THEY do not own, of course!

IOW, stereotypical stoopit idjit fun. We’ve had 15 vehicles get stuck on the unmaintained mess of a muck road in 30 days, and those are only the ones who got stuck longer than half an hour. One person left his vehicle for ten days, several others for one night. Most people have sense enough to backtrack when they see how bad it is, but a couple of days ago, one truck left overnight bore a decal that said, “HOLD THIS. I want to try something.”

Perfectly sums up the stoopit idjit crowd.

Paddlers in this area are fortunate. We have several large lakes for the power craft to play in that have nice coves and tributaries for paddlers.
Being retired is a bonus since there isn’t much traffic for 4 days a week.


The trees get to feeling sexy and leave the landscape covered with pollen.

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Air wss 80° Thursday, water temp on the Upper Chesapeake reported as 52° but was much warmer. SE wind the entire length up the bay made for waves that were a pain. Perfect first paddle day.

We rent out the farm fields to a family friend who raises alfalfa for his cattle. We have a large field along one roadway where our renter’s hired hands took down our barbed wire fence so they could load huge modern bales of hay onto their flatbed trucks. Since then we have all kinds of yay-hoos who think that since the fence is gone our property is a free fire zone for four-wheeled vehicles to jump ditches, spin doughnuts, and drag race out a gate near our farm house. They pick our apples and help themselves to anything not locked up or nailed down.

My least favorite are the Sunday Morning Asparagus Thieves; they come from Preston, Smithfield or Logan and cruise the road when they think the locals are in church and then scour ditch banks on private property. One Sunday Morning, I had just finished making a bunch of viking style arrows with large leaf shaped broadheads. I had been shooting at a very soft boxelder wood stump near our workshop when I thought I heard someone trying to get into our barn. No one was there, so I walked back around the work shop and let a viking age arrow fly from an authentic 75 lb Hedeby viking style bow. It sounds like a rifle shot when the arrow hits the boxelder stump. To my surprise I flushed an Asparagus Thief who was hiding behind the corner of the workshop about 15 ft from the stump and he ran the 100 yards to his truck like Carl Lewis, dropping his knife and fresh cut load as he went. As far as I know he has not been back.


Great story about rousting the thief! Nothing better than taking a stoopit idjit by surprise in a way they assume the owner would never do. Love how they assume all people who didn’t grow up there don’t own or use certain devices.

You know things are going steeply downhill when even in UT lack of respect for others’ property is so extreme. Bummer.

My most recent sign of Spring is that the new-to-me house I moved into in February is directly across the road from the local high school baseball field. Though homeplate is oriented so the trajectory of pitches and hits does not come towards the house now that was not true when the field was first built in the early 1980’s and the original owners of the place made the news by having all the windows in the front of the house broken multiple times, leading to the field being elevated and rotated 90 degrees). But now, foul balls hit by lefties or missed in the bullpen go over the fence, roll down the adjacent slope, across the road (which is about a 5% grade) and come to rest in my front yard about 10’ onto the lawn. After any warm late afternoon or weekend evening I will find 1 to 3 balls in the grass the following morning. I collect them in an old planter on the front porch and when I see practices or games going on I hike across the street, up the short hill and yeet them into the glove of whoever is in the bullpen. Count since the season began is 17, not including a half dozen I dug out of the front shrubs in front of the empty house next door which were too decomposed to put back into service.

SeaDart’s tale of the asparagus thieves reminds me of one of our clan’s legends. My dad’s first cousin (who we called Uncle Dick) had taken over running the family farm in south central Michigan just before World War 2 and one of the crops he cultivated during the war years was hemp, under the “Hemp for Victory” program that the Federal government initiated so that fiber for rope (critical in for military cordage, uniforms and parachutes) could be grown in the US since it could not be obtained from the Japanese-occupied Philippines. Of course hemp looks identical to its cousin cannabis sativa (marijuana) in the field. After the military program ended in 1945, Uncle Dick plowed under the hemp and went back to corn and soybeans. But being a prolific and hardy weed, the hemp was hard to completely rout and it prospered unmolested for a decade+ in the drainage ditches along the roads and tractorways around the property. But starting in the late 60’s, when Uncle Dick would sit out on the porch having a pipe smoke at twilight after the chores were done he started noticing people were creeping into the ditches, evidently trying to do it stealthily. Sounds carry far on quiet evenings in the country and he was eventually able to eavesdrop enough to determine that they were students from the nearby campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (during that era it was called “The Berkeley of the East” because of the large Liberal activist and hippie contingent in its student and faculty body) and they were harvesting the hemp plants, thinking they had stumbled on a gold mine of wild weed. He told us he would watch them with great amusement, sometimes waving if they noticed him sitting up on the hill watching from his rocking chair. Said he was glad they were clearing the stuff out so he didn’t have to (since it tended to clog the drainage channels). He did say that back when he was cultivating the stuff he would occasionally tear off a few sprigs and toss them on the floor of the tractor. Once they had dried he would crumble some leaves into his Bugler roll-your-own tobacco cigarettes. Admitted he never felt a detectable buzz but concluded that if you believed it had potency (as the stealthy students apparently did) you might get an imaginary high from it.


Saturday morning, 2 days ago.
4 15 23 snow by Steve Zihn, on Flickr

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Have you considered moving south of there?

He’ll probably say no. Not enough snow down there.

Naaa. Wyoming is one of the freest states of the 50, with the most personal freedoms and liberties still left in the USA. The weather here is often harsh for sure, but it’s a small price to pay for less government interference and less socialism then any other state. Not that we are as free and ANY state was 80-100 years ago, but I still like it here. more then any other state I have visited or lived in with the possible exception of parts of Alaska.
I’ll deal with skiing in and out now and then, and buying warm thick clothing. Not that bad a price really.


The Pacific Tree frogs start to sing! :frog:

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The loons arrive and start squabbling over territory and look for mates. It can be noisy! The loons arrive the day of ice out. So they have been here six days.