The juncos are flitting around my flower bed. I leave it “as is” in the fall, so there’s lots of plant material to sort through. I’ve seen the birds jump up on standing grasses, ride them as they fall to the ground, then feed on the seed heads. Let’s all let a corner of the lawn seed out next summer!
If you go on-line to find out how to attract juncos to your yard, you’ll only learn what type of bird seed to buy, not how to grow real seeds from real plants. Nothing against bird feeders, but think about all the side benefits real plants provide: roots reach into the soil to feed microscopic organisms, blooms feed butterflies and bees, beneficial insects burrow in to the stem to ride out the winter, they provide shade and cover to a myriad of species, and besides that, standing stems make a pretty picture against the snow.
There’s a new set of wind turbines on the skyline. They’re about 10 miles away. When Emma, our almost 3-yr-old granddaughter saw them, she said, “What are those spinners going round and round?” She’s the oldest, so will be the only grandchild that notices a change in the view. The others will think the windmills belong there. Beware the shifting baseline syndrome. We only know what we grow up with. And as each succeeding generation becomes accustomed to a new reality, we collectively lose. I know we need renewables, but let's acknowledge the impacts. We need to be conserving energy at the same time. Where’s the discussion? Where’s the incentive? Conservation has been unpopular since Carter asked us to wear a sweater.
It's been a mild winter, but wet. Mark's had to take the tractor quite a lot to help the feed trucks get around in the mud. And since we're mostly sand, that's saying something. I hate to see calving season come. Winter, a slower time for us, is slipping away. I’m not like other heroic ranch women I read about that say they love this time of year. Not me. Once the calves get on the ground, it’s non-stop ranching until next winter. We wasted our off-season Netflix subscription and now it’s all over. I’d take February for a few more rounds.
|Watching "neigh neighs" graze the lawn
|Sunday feeding crew
|Sale Day at the Blackfoot Livestock Auction