Capricious Spring Days in Minden April, 2017

12 Apr

Recently, we had zephyrs that gusted over 70 miles an hour and they were probably much faster in the high elevations. It is not unusual for us to have these damaging gusts when a front is moving into or through northern Nevada. I think these “breezes” are why we sometimes don’t bother to rake leaves and other stuff because they will blow over to the neighbors’ yards in a day or two. That’s a local joke here as we really do rake our stuff. Anyway, the winds lasted all day and into the night and made it a fairly miserable day to be outside. The outside temperature was in the low 50s but the wind made it feel MUCH colder than that.

A friend at the gym told me that she and her husband finished planting their hayseed about noon on that very windy day and she thought they might have quite a bit of it blown away. Why didn’t they wait, you ask? It’s because they were trying to beat the rain that was coming that would help make the seed get into the ground and grow. Such are the fortunes of a rancher/farmer.

The winds did bring rain into the Carson Valley and snow into the very high elevations. It rained off and on all day and again into the night giving us more than an inch of moisture. Again, not a great day to be outside.  It was so bum outside that I elected to do my most dreaded chore of cleaning house. I had put it off too long and it did need to be done. My mother would really be on my case if she knew how I keep house.  (Click on the pictures below to enlarge.  The bird pictures will not because they are from the internet)

Much to my surprise, I awoke the next morning to a very light covering of snow. In fact, it was still lightly snowing when I went out to feed the birds about 6:30. This poor bedraggled, wind-whipped daffodil shows how light the snow was. Daffies always amaze me, as they tend to be the first flowers I see that survive vicious winds, snow and rain.

Speaking of birds, beside the normal quail, gold finches, white-crowned sparrows, ravens and hawks, very hungry yellow-headed blackbirds and tricolored/bicolored blackbirds have returned in force.

I counted 79 (give or take a few) in the tree next to the house. You’ll have to trust me on that number because by the time I got my camera, many had flown away.

Blackbirds are such fun birds to watch…always singing to each other with a “liquid, gurgling konk-la-reee, ending in a trill. …Most common call is a chack” (National Geographic Field Guide to North American Birds) (How do they think up these sounds? I shouldn’t say anything because I have trouble describing birdcalls) Now that I’ve looked up the bird, I find that the tricolored lives primarily in central and coastal California. So I guess what I’m seeing is a red-winged or bicolored blackbird. On the other hand, perhaps these birds lost their compass and like my back yard.


This shows some yellow on his epaulets

The high yesterday was in the mid-forties. The outside temperature this morning was 18 degrees! We had been running in the thirties and sometimes forties. This goes to show you why (even though the planting bug bites us right about now) we shouldn’t plant anything new until at least Mother’s Day. It is not uncommon to have good freezes or even snow in April and sometimes May.

In spite of the cold spells, some things are growing and blossoming. This is the leaning tree in my backyard. The prevailing winds have made it lean but thankfully, it hasn’t toppled yet. As soon as it warms up a bit, bees will be so busy that I will hear their buzz as I walk by the tree. A little peach tree is beginning to bloom just to the left and back of the conical shaped green tree.

Tahoe Tessie and offspring invaded Carson City right around April Fool’s Day and are still swimming in the pond just kitty corner from the post office!

At least someone was kind enough to post a warning about these plesiosaurs.

Although spring tends to be capricious with all kinds of weird things, it is such a lovely season with everything coming back to life and becoming so beautiful.  Sometimes the weather is so erratic that people say, “Don’t like the weather in Nevada?  Just wait 15 minutes.”  I love to see the snow on the mountains, calves romping in the pastures, migratory birds returning and, yes, even the pests with their little ones (i.e., the ground squirrels).  One thing I don’t like is that I got bit twice by a no-seeum type insect.  Rats.  It must have been just warm enough for them to wake up.  Now those are real pests!

It’s a few days since I wrote most of this and our weather is still being very capricious.  We’re expecting rain again tonight and tomorrow and we have the usual gusty winds going about 30 or more mph(according to the internet).  My anemometer broke so all I can tell you is that it is difficult to walk against the wind.  Ah well, it’ll change in a few minutes…



One Response to “Capricious Spring Days in Minden April, 2017”

  1. Gloria Sandoval April 26, 2017 at 6:18 am #

    Cora, thank you for sharing your latest adventure. There is so much of Nevada I have yet to see.
    Yes, the weather has been freaky–at best. I peaked out the door and saw the rain and felt the cold. It’s a turtle necklace sweater day!


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