Saturday, April 04, 2015

NICE COUNTRY DRIVE BUT A NAIL BITING FEW MINUTES FOR PHEEBS & I THIS MORNING

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THESE RURAL FIELDS ARE INDICATIVE OF OUR SPRING LANDSCAPE AT THE MOMENT

Kelly took our Pontiac Sunfire & headed off to Goderich first thing to check out an early indoor Farmer’s Market plus a few other stops.  We had a cloudy overcast & the ground was still frozen so there wasn’t much I could do outside.  Not wanting to sit around Pheebs & I piled into the Jeep & took us for a Saturday morning drive.

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GRAVEL ROADS WERE STILL UNTHAWED FROM THE NIGHT’S FREEZE SO NO MUD

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WILDLIFE PONDS IN THE HULLETT MARSH ARE STILL FROZEN OVER EXCEPT FOR AROUND THE EDGES

First stop was in the small town of Clinton at Tim Horton’s for a coffee & carrot muffin to go.  We ambled out into the countryside around the Hullet Marsh area hoping to see some deer but the only sign of wildlife we saw later was a great Blue Heron.  Gravel roads hadn’t thawed from the night’s colder temperatures so no mud.  We didn’t do one of our longer tours but we did hit a few favorite spots before returning home around 11. 

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Clouds cleared before noon & I noticed some ground thawing wherever the sun was shining.`That was my Q to begin our big yard clean-up.  Nice to be out on a nice warming Saturday morning raking up winter’s debris of leaves, pine needles, & small branches.  Birds singing in the surrounding tree tops & despite remaining piles of snow in the yard & driveway all was good.  Nice to be home & even nicer to have something constructive to do while at home.

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WAS ABLE TO RAKE OUT & CLEAN UP ONE END OF OUR DRIVEWAY

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It took a few days for the birds to discover seeds on our bird station but the first visitor was a Mourning Dove.  Next day a pair of Cardinals showed up & I noticed right away how much smaller they seemed than the pair of Cardinals we had in our backyard in Congress Az.  And the male Cardinal here does not seem to have the crested head our Congress male had.  One thing I have noticed about Cardinals whether here or in Congress is that they are always the last one’s at the feeder each night.

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FIRST BIRD ON OUR FEEDER STATION WAS THIS MOURNING DOVE…THE PEANUTS ARE FOR THE BLUE JAYS OF WHICH I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY YET

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OUR SECOND VISITOR WAS THIS MALE CARDINAL

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER SHARE TOGETHER

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NICE TO SEE OUR JUNCO’S BEFORE THEY HEAD BACK UP NORTH SHORTLY

With record breaking cold temperatures in our area of Southwestern Ontario this past winter we sure did some worrying down in Congress about coming home to broken water pipes & damage.  But luck was on our side this year & everything was A-OK.  But not so for Dennis & Donna from Sandwich Illinois.  You can read what they came home to here…..Came Home To A Bit Of A Problem.

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Did accidentally get myself & Pheebs into a rather precariously scary situation on our drive this morning.  There is a nice old steel bridge north of Clinton that we often drive over to have a look at the Maitland River.  It’s a narrow road on the east side & I noticed as I turned in off the highway snow hadn’t melted too much in the shadow of Cedar trees on both sides of the road.  No problem I figured & put the Jeep in 4 wheel drive & besides I could see by the tracks another vehicle had been down through ahead of me at some point.  The road angles down to the river at a steep angle & it wasn’t until I had started down the short hill that I saw I was already in trouble.  Snow had melted over the last few days & the water from that melted snow had froze overnight.  I was no longer in hard crusted snow but now on a pure downhill ice stretch.  The river ahead was flooded, moving fast, & well over it’s banks.  There was no way I could back up & if the Jeep began to slide downhill on the ice I knew Pheebs & I could be in trouble if we slid off especially the left side where I saw a gap at the end of the guard rail by the fast flowing river.   The Jeep slightly lurched twice but held it’s grip on the ice as we inched along.  Saw a dirt patch to the right near the bottom where the ice ended & figured if I could get a passenger side wheel on that dirt we’d be Okay.  Easing to the right we ever so slowly managed to roll a wheel onto that dry part of the road then move a few feet further to where the ice ended & we had a solid road under all 4 tires again.  Our front wheels were only about 10 feet from the bridge.  Whew, what a nail biter that was & I was sure glad to get across that bridge to the other side & continue on what had been up to that point a nice relaxing Saturday morning drive……………

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AT THIS POINT i SURE WAS RELIEVED TO HAVE ALL 4 JEEP TIRES ON A SOLID GRAVEL ROAD FOOTING AGAIN

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IN THE SUMMER TIME ONE CAN NORMALLY WALK ACROSS THIS SHALLOW SLOW MOVING RIVER BUT WITH SPRING FLOODS IT’S A TORRENT OF WATER

We did get ourselves a few nice hours of sunshine this afternoon but the air remained cold & temps hung around the freezing mark all day.  Weatherman says we may have a few snow flurries tonight.  Cold for the next few days but looking ahead at the 10 day forecast I do see some days with low 50’s about a week & a half from now.  Greatly looking forward to that of course:))

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SOON THIS WILL ALL BE GREEN & LUSH AGAIN

GROANER’S CORNER:(( I was working out the other day when I spotted a very attractive young lady entering the gym. I asked the trainer, "What machine should I use to impress that gorgeous girl over there?"  The trainer looked me up and down and said, "For you, I'd recommend using the ATM in the lobby."

10 comments:

  1. I bet Pheebs is happy with your drives around the countryside, Tim Horton's etc. Be careful until everything is thawed!

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  2. Bet that Heron wished he stayed with Uncle Joe down in Cocoa.
    We saw two today and the fish were jumping.

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  3. Your drive today just confirmed my feelings about staying in the south for a few more weeks. Glad it came out okay!

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  4. It's been almost 25 years since I've driven in snow and ice. I don't miss it a bit. Glad you're safe.

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  5. wow glad you kept your cool....ice is the pits to deal with....even with 4 wheel. when I was working job 40 miles from home..really hated the thaw/refreeze as so hard to see.

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  6. Thanks for the shout out..Yes, McGyver has stressed to me that 4 wheel drive is good for snow, not so much for ice..Very scary, and good for you keeping your cool!. We here at Cave Dwellings are dried out, and Den is trouble shooting our broken pipe..and ...we now need a new "old beater" pick up truck..Old Blue passed away..sits in our drive in 2 pieces..SHEESH!

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  7. I'm going to nail the cowboy's feet to the floor, I don't want to go home to that weather!

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  8. We are heading into some hot hot weather. Leaving San Diego and going to Casa Grande Az for the annual Alfa Rally. How different people can be. I would look at that yard work with dread. not having to clean up in Spring is one of the biggest pluses of the RV life for me.

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  9. There is a real beauty in the landscapes of the frozen spring of the north. It isn't something I'd enjoy for long, but for a couple weeks it would be lovely I think. And then I'm looking forward to your green country drives as well :-))) Glad you navigated the ice successfully, that river looks treacherous.

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