Tag Archives: river

A Winter Blast

Our progress towards spring suffered a setback last night, as we awoke to around 8-9 inches of fresh snow.  School was canceled and we once again face the task of clearing and piling snow. Ugh! snow1 As discouraging as it is to see, with temperatures forecasted to reach into the 50’s and 60’s next week, we know this scene is only temporary.snow2 I decided to step out on to the porch this afternoon to capture a few pictures of the white stuff.  One of the things I enjoy about blogging, and one of the primary reasons I do it, is that it allows me to document events like this from year to year.  I always find it interesting to look back at pictures from earlier years to see evidence of late snowfalls and later proof that spring and summer eventually do arrive.  Last year, we received a big snow fall on April 18th.  A week later I posted and shared pictures of the dramatic changes that can occur in Minnesota during the spring time over a short period.  (See the post here).


Below is a shot from our porch towards the river.  Grudgingly, I must admit that it is a pretty sight today.

snow3Nonetheless, I am hoping that it looks very different by next week.  I am SO ready for winter to move along so that I can get outside and into my gardens.  Spring cannot come soon enough!

I hope spring has arrived in your neck of the woods!








Filed under Miscellaneous, Outbuildings

A Winter Walk

Over winter break, I took my camera along on a walk we took down behind our house.  We own some acreage down in the river bottom that we rarely have the opportunity to explore.  In the spring, the river is usually flooded for several weeks, or even months, and the land is inaccessible.  Once the temperatures warm up, the mosquitoes hatch and it becomes unbearable to venture down there.  If we have a dry fall, we usually enjoy some walks before hunting season begins.  Once the snow falls – at least during a normal winter – it once again becomes difficult to enjoy a walk because of the deep snow.

We are not having a “normal” winter though, so the land is still accessible and we are trying to take advantage of it.

Despite the flood waters that come every spring, we have some enormous old trees among all the smaller saplings and brush.  This one looks like it may not be standing too much longer.

We came across the monster tree below, as well.  I cannot imagine how many years it has stood there, and all the spring floods it has seen come and go.

Taking a closer look, you can see a small area of daylight through the trunk of this tree.  I wonder how long it will take for the critters and the weather to chisel away at the heart of the tree until it finally succumbs to gravity.

Sofie, our Golden Retriever, is always beyond excited when we head towards the river bottom.  There are so many things to explore.  She was particularly excited about this hollowed out log.  Fearful of the possibility that a skunk could be residing within, we quickly encouraged her to move along.

Our goofy cat, Nina, also followed us on our walk.  She seemed annoyed the entire time and was meowing loudly as she trotted behind us.  She eventually gave up on us and turned around.  We met up with her again when we reached the house porch.

The warm temperatures of December have left the river open in most areas.  The open water certainly must make life easier for the wildlife that roams the river bottom.

Since we took this walk a few weeks ago, all the snow has melted.  We need to get back down there soon to enjoy the peace and tranquility while we can.


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Filed under Daily life

The Problem with a River is…

it is unpredictable and constantly changing.  The lazy, winding river by our house is no different.  It rises and recedes as the rain comes and goes.  You would think we would have this figured out by now.

After all, remember our maple syrup miscalculations?

In preparation for collecting sap, we placed our pails safely next to the maple trees in the backwater area of the river.

After a week of rain, we returned to the river bottom to find this…

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Spring Flooding and Maple Miscalculations

Remember last week, before we left for our trip, when we tapped a few of our  maple trees in the river bottom behind our house?  The pails sat safely next to the base of the trees, waiting to catch the sap when it starts to flow.

Apparently it rained nearly the entire time we were gone.  It rained a lot and the snow melted…a lot.  We arrived home Thursday night surprised to see how much of the snow was gone.

It was still raining on our drive home from the airport.  It was evident that winter was on its way out and the dreariness of spring was upon us.  In the morning, I glanced out the windows in the back of the house towards the river.  Sadly, our tree-tapping experiment had gone awry.

The river has already flooded, a little earlier than usual.  The flood waters have interfered with our first attempt to collect the sap out of the maple trees.  Instead of sitting safely next to the tree, the collection pails are floating in the swollen river.  We need a new plan.  Despite my frustration over the floating pails, I do find the flooded river bottom eerily beautiful.

Wasting no time, Jesse formulated a plan to retrieve the pails.  Using the scow boat, he floated out to the pails and gathered them up.

We located more maple trees on higher ground behind the house and drilled new holes for the taps.

Once the spiles were inserted, some sap started dripping out.  We were so excited!!

So excited that our daughter did not want to see it go to waste.  She said that it only has a hint of sweetness.

Once again, we are all set up and waiting for the sap to really start flowing.   Let the adventure continue…

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Filed under Daily life, Maple Syrup