Winter has finally wandered off elsewhere for at least a few months, and we are now enjoying (and I do mean *enjoying*) sun and warm temperatures. Lots of activity around the city this past weekend with everyone getting out of doors and taking advantage of the end of winter. Grandson Mark and I made an expedition to the Farmer's Market, but having been so recently in snow and ice management mode, I really couldn't wrap my mind around all the market garden flowers and bedding plants on offer. My yard was under several feet of snow only a couple of weeks ago. How can I contemplate flowering plants already? I think I need some transition time here. Note: this is not a complaint!
Shot one illustrates what I mean. These are both shot from more or less the same spot in the back yard, less than one month apart. Quite a difference in the landscape in a short time. The snow had receded a fair amount even in the top shot. The horse head sculpture at the left of the top image had snow right up to the horse head, with none of the base showing at all. Shot two shows a little snow still lingering along the far fenceline, but since it was 29 C / 84 F today, it's not going to last much longer. The yard looks pretty shabby at this stage, but we'll get it knocked into some sort of shape over time.
We feed the local and itinerant birds all year round, and enjoy the visitors that come to eat, drink, and sometimes nest at our establishment. Here is a pair of house finches, the male being the more brightly coloured of the pair. I got this shot last week. I'm not sure whether they nest in this area, or if they go farther north for breeding season.
I love the colour combination of the intense red of dogwood branches against a clear blue sky.
Mark and I walked along the riverside pathway en route to the Farmer's Market on Saturday, and observed this busy muskrat working away by a pond area below the walkway. Since we have so much meltwater from the snow in the countryside, the muskrat population is quite active, but I wasn't expecting to see this fellow right in the city.
There were a few residual chunks of melting ice in the Ebon stables dugout on Sunday. I liked the sculptural effect of this one. It makes me think of a big skull of some sort, with a long-toothed jaw. I'm glad I stopped to get shots when I did, as the dugout was completely free of ice today.