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Rhubarb sprouting

The sound this week was drip, drip, drip as all the snow from the blizzard started melting. That is the one good thing about a blizzard in April, you know the snow is not going to be lasting all that long. There are still large patches of snow and piles everywhere, but the roads are clear though wet in some places, and I got out on Astrid for the first bike ride this year today. It was a beautiful, mild, sunshiny day. I road 100K with the Minnesota Randonneurs, a local club I have never ridden with before. Super friendly and nice group of folks. I will definitely ride with them again and will very likely end up joining the club. I was so busy riding and enjoying the day and socializing I didn’t manage to take any ride photos!

I saw lots of still frozen lakes, naked trees, brown grass, and robins, robins everywhere! They are busy courting and nest building. As spring begins to make an appearance, the scenery should gradually become more interesting. Today is the first really nice day of the season and there were so many people outdoors. This is one of things I love about Minnesotans. We are forced indoors for so long that when the weather turns nice, we come outdoors in droves. Make hay while the sunshines and all that.

Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood take a bath while Marianne supervises

Even if there is still snow on the ground, the plants, trees and shrubs have decided that they are tired of waiting and are going to proceed with spring, weather be damned. With above freezing temperatures during the day, and around freezing at night, the witch hazel decided to bloom. Yes, witch hazels bloom in the fall generally. Mine used to too. But a number of years ago she decided spring was preferred and has been blooming accordingly since. My maple tree is also starting to bloom.

The buds on the currants and apples are swelling and I suspect in a few days there will be some small leaves on the currants. The rhubarb is sprouting up too. I sure hope it is nice next weekend because I have a lot of prep work to do for planting the garden. Still too much snow and wet ground to get out there this weekend. The Dashwoods have been enjoying the run of the garden though and have been vigorously scratching in all snow-free places.

They are so happy to be out and about. They took advantage of the warm sun for a little dirt bathing. Elinor and Mrs. Dashwood were having themselves a fine old wallow. Marianne tried supervising, much to the others’ annoyance. She kept trying to scratch in the dirt around them and then would try to peck at the interesting things that the wallowing was turning up. She got a peck or two from Mrs. Dashwood for her troubles.

Marianne’s turn

But then maybe she had a plan, because she seemed to have annoyed the two bathers so much they got up, shook the dust off and left their sand holes. Upon their vacancy, Marianne immediately settled in to have a roll around in the warm sand too.

Watching them bathe is hilarious. They roll around as best they can without turning over on their backs. I keep waiting for one of them to accidentally flip over but it hasn’t happened yet. Probably just as well since I suspect flipping over would induce a bit of panic.

The week ahead looks like a repeat of today with night temperatures likely to keep above freezing. Looks like next weekend Bookman and I will definitely be spending some quality time out in the garden!

Has spring arrived? It appears that it has at last. Sure took long enough!

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