We have enjoyed the past week of warmer (40's) daytime temperatures, sunshine, and squirrels. Today, I picked an ant off my head for the first time this year! Most of the snow has melted, leaving sandy puddles around the house. Some of the newly exposed grass is turning green. The ladybugs (Asian beetles), which hibernated in our baseboards this winter, have woken up and are swirling around the house and crawling on the walls, so Sarah and Solomon have gotten out the duct tape and are escorting them outside, lint brush style.
I have really enjoyed some daily walks this week with Noah, Sammy, Gideon and occasionally Susanna. Across the state highway on which we live, there is a bit of country road, which tunnels through woods, skirts horse pastures, and passes a neighbor with a duck-yard. Ducks are what we are after. We often find the flock across the street from their home, on the shoulder of the road, doing what ducks do. When we get to a certain distance, they proceed waddling back, quacking in stereo, at precisely the speed we are following them.
The last two times, the ducks were nowhere to be found, as their own backyard pond is thawing, and they must be by the water. However, our consolation was soon following, as the next neighbor proceeded to meet us by his mailbox with what appeared to be a lanky, tall, dog or a very small horse. It was neither: it was a goat! It was a pet goat. It neither mowed grass nor gave milk, but wore a badly chewed sweater and ate fiberglass insulation. Our neighbor explained it (and its companion) were pet goats. The goats had heard the children, and began to fuss until he brought them out to visit.
The kids were of course very impressed with the animals, and scared. But they were friendly enough and petted them.
To get to the country road portion, we have to cross some railroad tracks, and Sammy really dislikes this. In fact, he never wants to go for a walk because of the train tracks, but I make him anyway, and once we safely cross the tracks, he is fine and talkative the whole time. As we approach the tracks, he insists we move very quickly, so as not to get hit by any trains that could sneak up on us. What is funny is, our house is less than a mile from these tracks, and we hear them from home! We are trying to work with him in understanding that the train is much louder when you are on the tracks, so there is not much chance of them sneaking up on us.
I don't cover as much distance when I walk with the little guys, but its a very special time. Sammy is losing much of his pudge, and Giddy can do the entire distance, just about, on foot!
We are setting up a makeshift greenhouse in our front-porch master bedroom. We are taking out the white wire shelving from the old bus, and installing it in front of the south facing window, so we can start bell peppers and tomatoes. According to our expert Wisconsin gardeners, this is the time to start peppers, but not till April 1 for tomatoes.
If the weather radio is right, we should get fairly blitzed with more snow tonight and tomorrow! Six to 9 inches? We'll see. We don't put the snow shovels away until May.