About The River

Thursday, February 28, 2019

More Winter Tracks

Looking behind us at the snow.. well I can share with you we have a LOT more snow! These photos were taken in late December. We have GOT SNOW!  We have 4 more inches in the forecast for Friday.
I will post a snow update on Monday. 
In the mean time lets look at a few more tracks.

 What do you think made the following tracks? The same mammal made the tracks in the above and below photo. Who is traveling in circles?

 Some bird made a landing in the above photo!
What kind of bird?
And who made these fancy tracks?

1. A Mole
2. A Ruffed Grouse
3. Wild Turkey

"Every mile is two in the winter."
George Herbert

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Winter Tracks

 My husband and I purchased snowshoes for each other for Christmas. We do enjoy cross country skiing, but we are not able to adventure in some areas with skis. 
We have really enjoyed snowshoeing. 
It has become a new favorite!

During one of our snowshoe adventures we came across the following tracks.
Tracks we had not seen before .. what animal could be passing by?

When taking photos of the tracks be sure to place something next to the track to determine the size of the track. Also take a photo of the gait (the walk) of the animal if you are able. This will help when you start your research on who made that track. 

 Could it be a Badger?

It would be something if it was a Wolverine!

It is a Fisher.

The message below my husband sent to the Wisconsin DNR. 
My husband received a nice reply back from Curtis he did confirm the track was a Fisher and that it was a unique track to see.
Hi Curtis,
My wife and I found this track on Monday Feb 4. We were snowshoeing at a Barron County park by Prairie Lake. Whatever animal it is from was following our tracks from Friday Feb 1. We had some rain and melting over the weekend which may have distorted the track.
In the photos I have attached the basket of my pole is 3.5" diameter, for scale. Looking at various track books and online I think it may be a wolverine track.
If there is any insight you may have I would be interested.
A shout out to one of our dear blog friends Lavender Dreamer, who shares her hikes , photos of birds, plants and animals with us. She had a crazy weekend with Google.

Friday, February 22, 2019

How to Create a Succulent Log Planter

You may be feeling a bit of Spring Fever and creating a Succulent Log Planter may just help with Spring Fever. I have heard from a few people we are to have an early Spring!
 Until the snow and ice melt, we can create Spring!
 What do you need?

Spade Bit
A log with three holes drilled using a spade bit. It would be an inch and a quarter wide and inch deep. The three holes are where you will plant your plants.

Quality potting soil
Paint Brush

 You will fill your holes with the potting soil and plant your succulent.
If you are messy with your soil use a paint brush to brush away any extra soil.
Using glue you will glue your moss, rocks and decorations.

 Water your succulents weekly mine are growing very nicely.
In the summer you can set your log planter outside.

It would be great fun to have a Let's Make a Log Succulent Party.. what do you say, who wants to come on over?


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Winter Garden Tour

It is snowing!
Are we breaking snowfall records?
Another big snow storm today. Then outside we go and clean up. My husband roof raked our house roof, he will need to do it again after this storm.
 Our youngest son helps shovel. I take turns helping both.
I  sweep the snow off my greenhouse roof and go around and take photos of all this snow.

Let's go on a Winter Wonderland Garden Tour ..

 My lovely peony are sleeping sound under that pile of snow.

 The path from the house to the garden.
My decorative mailbox for "The Little Garden That Could".

 The greenhouse.. with the Christmas tree inside.

For Rent.. I have seen a few chickadees take a peek at this birdhouse in the last few days. 

 A peek at the greenhouse at night.

 I enjoy looking out at night to see the Christmas tree twinkling lights.

 Tracks.. not just man.. but the rabbits have started to use the deck to cross the deep snow.

 More tracks.. visitors who peeked at the greenhouse and wanted to know if anything green was inside to nibble on. 

 Sunflowers sporting their winter hats.

7 to 10 more inches of fresh snow falling today.
We have more in the forecast for Saturday!

 Mother Nature added her own sparkle to my greenhouse.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Joy List Monday

Joy List Monday
a weekly ritual 

♥ a reminder to stop and pay attention
to the little beauties and graces
 that make life magical and set aside time for gratitude each day  ♥

 ♥ attending a Garden Expo with my husband
♥ getting creative and making a Log Succulent Planter

snow and more snow.. spending time out doors skiing and snowshoeing
 ♥ Valentine treats from friends and family

 ♥ a phone call from my son who is stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia
♥ sunshine making the snow sparkle like diamonds

Friday, February 15, 2019

Bug Hotel

Have you heard about Bug Hotels?

An insect hotel, also known as a bug hotel or insect house, is a manmade structure created to provide shelter for insects. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the specific purpose or specific insect it is catered to.

I recently attended the Eau Claire Garden Expo. The featured speaker gave a demonstration on a bug hotel that was built by a student of hers.


 You may be wondering why on earth do we need to have Bug Hotels in our back yards? Most of  us do not like bugs!  Ah, but bugs have a reason to be here too. Many bugs are beneficial to our gardens. The decline in bee population is a true thing.. having a small bug hotel can help.

Beneficial insects need love too
Many of your garden’s pollinators are solitary insects like butterflies, moths, ladybugs and solitary bees. These insects do not live in colonies and must find a warm, dry space to build their nests and to hibernate over the winter. The decline in bee populations has been in the news for the last few years. With their numbers dropping around the world, these insects could be our garden’s next best friends.
Click here for more information..  Natural Living Ideas

The bug hotel I saw at the Garden Expo will have crab grass growing on the roof top.

Another peek at the Bug Hotel.
Ideas to fill your bug hotel with..

dry logs
cardboard rolls 
dry leaves
bamboo poles

We plan on building a Bug Hotel to set out in the back yard this Spring.
To be continued.. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Nothing Uglier Than An Empty Garden

 We have received more snow since I took this photo. 
I wanted to share how leaving some plants out in the garden makes the garden pretty during the winter and how it helps the birds.

I use to clean my gardens in the autumn. I would cut down all the dead plants. Haul everything to the compost pile and look out at just snow during the winter. In the last three years I started to leave more and more in the garden. This is my first winter leaving corn stalks, sunflowers, zinnia, snapdragons and phlox. I am so glad I did.

 Nothing uglier than a empty garden in the snow. Even the brown sticks give it character.

Not only do I have more character to look out at. We have many birds come and take up home in our back yard. It has been so much fun to see new to our back yard birds this winter come to the feeder. We have the following visit daily, cardinals, nuthatch, red breasted nuthatch, common red poll, pine skin, tufted titmouse, chickadee and juncos come feed on the plant seeds left in the garden and enjoy sitting on the plants that we left standing to sun themselves.

  And here I was wondering if we would get snow. How silly of me!

These photos are taken February 7th, 2019.

 Just before the storm started I spotted our mourning dove eating. 
We put corn out for our mourning doves. They are ground feeders. We clear several areas on the ground for them to eat.

 It is starting to snow!

 2:30pm in the afternoon.. take a peek at the roof of the bird feeder.

Happy Cross Country Ski Time in Wisconsin!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Twilight Garden Tour ~ 2018 ~

Twilight Garden Tour 

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells, and pretty maids all in a row.

North Country
Master Gardener Volunteer

2018 was my first year having a booth at our Twilight Garden Tour. My friend Cindy and I planted a Cut Flower Garden that was on display at our Teaching and Display Garden.

Click here for more about the Teaching and Display Gardens 

 Open to the public for self-guided tours during day light hours seven days a week mid-May through mid-September.  There are events throughout the growing season at the gardens.   The Teaching and Display Garden is a joint effort between the Spooner Agriculture Research Station, operated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Science, the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and area UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.  

 During the Twilight Garden Tour we gave demonstrations on creating Garden Bouquets.
We gave away 10 bouquets during the evening.
It was a fun night creating, teaching and spending time in the garden.

 We also have taste testing of different varieties of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and more.

Salsa Tasting! This is a favorite!! 
We also have roasted veggies to try.
We have many demonstrations and speakers.

Mark your calendars for..
August 13th 2019 

I will be helping with this event with my other North Country Master Gardener friends.
We had our first meeting this past week. I will be having another demonstration garden and doing demonstrations and taste testing! 
I will give you a hint, it is not flowers. I do use these edibles in my bouquets.

Can you guess what I might be growing?

 Garden Activities for Cold Climates
pot up paper-whites, tulips and daffodils for indoor display.. just in time for Easter
start dreaming about Spring
draw out plans for our 2019 garden
start to make seed selections and place seed orders 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Funny on Sunday .. becomes Funny on Monday

Thank you my friends, for letting me know my Funny on Sunday photo was not posting.

Take 2
Funny on Monday

Happy Monday


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Funny on Sunday

My friend Kathy sent this to me. I just had to share!
Have a Happy Sunday!

Friday, February 1, 2019

On the Road Friday ~ Confluence of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers at Cairo, IL

Confluence of Ohio and Mississippi Rivers 

On our journey home from Fort Gordon, Georgia in late November 2018. We stopped at where two mighty rivers meet.

The mighty Mississippi and the Ohio come together at Cairo, Illinois.

 The Ohio River becomes a tributary of the Mississippi River directly south of Cairo, Illinois, a small city on the spit of land where the rivers converge.

  Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Western Kentucky

We crossed from Kentucky to Illinois. 

We decided to go ahead and cross the other bridge leaving Illinois and crossing into Missouri. The bridges are huge and it was fun to drive on both of them.We turned around and headed back into Illinois and headed North to Wisconsin.



 Lewis and Clark spent time at the Confluence.

To learn more click on the link above.