4/29/2013 12:56:00 PM Publisher's Column
Spring has sprung
An old Burma Shave sign set back in the 1950s read:
"Spring has sprung, the grass has riz
Where last year's careless drivers is..."
Last Saturday morning, I recalled that little ditty as I watched the grass growing in our back yard. Anyone who says you can't watch grass grow wasn't paying attention that morning. As the sun came up, our backyard was dried grass tan, but by 7 a.m. you could already see hints of green coming through, and by 9 a.m. there was no question that Spring had sprung, and Mother Nature had started dressing in her Spring finery.
Another sure sign that it must be Spring is apparent on our local streets and highways. Suddenly, the potholes have been filled, making driving easier and more comfortable. It has been a real challenge trying to navigate Minnesota streets and highways with the proliferation of potholes caused by the winter's rapid recycling between freezing and thawing. I've gotten pretty good at spotting potholes but pretty good isn't good enough anymore. You have to be quick to make the judgment call of whether to go to the left into oncoming traffic, to the right and possibly into the ditch or straight ahead and risk losing a tire or axle. So far, I've not lost a tire or axle but wouldn't be surprised if the wheels need an alignment.
We believed enough in the probability that Spring has arrived that we started gardening preparation. We picked up seed potatoes and looked at nursery plants. (I'd like to get a load of poultry manure. if anyone out there has some to sell, call my cell phone 507-227-5689) The deer pruned most of the shrubs, bushes and trees we planted last year and don't seem have known when to stop. About the only thing they didn't prune is the row of Eastern Red Cedar we planted.
We appear to have had a population explosion among our deer. Our experience until this year has been that we have three to five deer hanging out around our property a couple times three or four days a week. This year, there are usually seven to nine and frequently many more. They have a spot where they like to sun and a couple spots where they bed down. They have been useful for reducing the harvest of black locust beans blanketing our yard and are entertaining but they are getting a bit destructive. I fear for the garden. It would be fun if I could rent the cougar from Oxbow...
When I was a kid, there were always lots of meadowlarks nesting in the fence rows that used to outline property and crops. Have any of you seen meadowlarks in recent years? It has been years since I've seen a meadowlark, but I'm going to try and entice some to come back by putting up a fence row around our property. If anyone has any idea where one might get a breeding pair of meadowlarks, you can call me on the cell number above.
We started the fence project Saturday and plan to work on it as time permits throughout the summer. The ground was thawed and seemed surprisingly warm considering the temps we'd had recently. It amazes me how fast Spring has come on now that Winter finally decided to retreat.
I rather enjoyed digging the hole for the corner post we put up. It reminded me of the many days I spent building and repairing fences with my grandfather on the farm where I grew up northeast of Rochester. Grandpa really took pride in putting up a fence line that was perfectly straight and with the barbed wire stretch so tight you almost didn't need staples to hold it up between corner posts. We used to dig those post holes down almost to the handle of the post hole digger. I don't plan to be quite as particular, so I only dug down a little over two feet.
Speaking of grandfathers, I became a great one again last week. Our granddaughter Holly in Duluth gave birth to a healthy eight pound, one ounce baby boy, our number ten great grandchild. We have another great grandchild due next month and also another grandchild. It still amazes me to see all these delightful characters dropping into our lives. The timing is perfect, coming as it does as the world is also coming to life after this most unusual Winter. Life is such a miracle.