St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, January 30, 2014


A sputzy?  Rare at our feeder if it is.  We get lots of finches. 
Margo's mom, Myrtle, always called English Sparrows, sputzies.  I think it must be from her German background.  I looked on the internet and found that the German word for sparrow is "spatz" pronounced sputz, so it makes sense as Margo's parents were 100% German background from the area north of Milwaukee.

Myrtle always had many bird feeders out on the farm near West Bend.  She enjoyed watching the birds and feeding them. They only owned 5 acres of the original farm in later years, but it had lots of trees, surrounded by fields and nearby woods -- just a short distance from the Milwaukee river (Newburg area). 

Margo takes after her mother in her enjoyment of feeding the birds, making sure a little is spilled for her fawn Fluffy, and now worrying about the 10 pheasants frequenting the orchard here on the farm, scratching for fallen apples. 

So, I wallowed out through the deep snow into the orchard and sprinkled a little cracked corn and sunflower seeds in the area where they scratch yesterday.  We are under strict rules not to feed deer in our CWD area, so I spread it out very much so deer would not have any easy pickings (they frequent the orchard to paw up fallen apples and prune the trees as high as they can reach).  

This morning, with the falling snow already a few inches, 10 pheasants came under the trees to scratch.  The 3 yesterday must have spread the news.  Guess I will pick up some shelled corn and continue--feel sorry for them this cold, deep snow winter.  

Fluffy hunts for a sunflower seed

It's always greener on the other side of the fence (the garden)

Venus and the moon at -23 a few days ago

Eight of the 10 pheasants in our orchard this morning

Early this morning -- checking if I needed to get Margo up to start shoveling yet or let her sleep a little longer. 

I take these photos with my Nikon 42x zoom camera through the windows holding the camera by hand, so some of the fuzziness is from that.  I really like the camera--coolpix p510.  Even has a gps built in, although I still get lost sometimes in the woods. It was about $300 a real splurge for me. I bought it while suffering from myasthenia gravis, looking for something to cheer me up as well as to motivate me to get out and be somewhat active. 

 My brother, Ev, as he went through chemotherapy 6 years ago, said that occasionally buying a toy for himself, helped him get through the treatment downs.  Of course, he got into the habit, and now buys a toy if he thinks it might be interesting to use.  One gets a feeling it is better to enjoy things now rather than put them off for some uncertain future when you have a brush with life-threatening illness. 

 For Margo and me, her currently in medicine-free remission from cancer and me from myasthenia gravis, doing things now, and things we want to do rather than have to do, are valuable.  We never know if or when things will turn the other way.  Even so, I had better get Margo up and outside shoveling before it gets too deep....