Thursday, March 24, 2011


Hail to what you say. Why hail to me of course.

Yesterday was in many ways a typical day, busy. Let me a take a few minutes to tell you about it. It was quite warm when I woke up and I did the usual chores, made coffee for me, got the wood stove going, opened the chickens, turned on the computers, collected the newspapers, fed the cats. Usual stuff. Then I made tea and took it in to Julia. We watched The Lake. There was a large bird in a tree close to the house that we finally determined to be an Osprey. It was hidden by branches and the emerging leaves. Another Osprey landed in another tree close by and they seemed to be sizing each other up. Yet another Osprey was hovering close by over The Lake and it made a successful dive into the water, coming up with a nice sized fish. It flew off. When Julia said "Why are they just sitting there and not fishing?" they seemed to take the hint, and flew off.

Meanwhile elsewhere on The Lake the flock of Cormorants that appears every morning and then disappears was in evidence. As on most mornings today's crowd was about 40 or 50 birds strong. They are a delight to watch as they swim along mostly submerged with just their heads and necks above water. When they dive they stay submerged for as much as a minute. I assume they can swallow their prey under water although sometimes we see them come up with a fish and swallow it while they are on the surface. If we get the numbers that we have had here in previous years we could see as many as 100 or even 200 birds. As I said they are enjoyable to watch, but it is scary to think of all the fish that they consume. Will they leave enough for me?

There were a number of other birds scattered around, including what may be favorite, the Great Blue Herons.

Anyway, we had to leave our little bit of Paradise and head for the Accountants Office. It is tax time in the US and Julia and I had spent much of the last three days preparing for the annual assault on our income by the dreaded IRS! That over, we headed for the library, then the bank, Trader Joe's in Annapolis and finally to Koontz Toyota, also in Annapolis, for our first service, 5,000 miles, on our "new", now 6 months old, Prius.

While they did whatever it is they do to cars when they "Service" them. Screw them up? We decided to have some lunch. Julia remembered a little cafe that was just a few blocks away and we walked there. As I said earlier, it was warm today. WAS warm, being the operative words, it was now cold and getting colder. It was so warm earlier that I had forgotten to take a coat with me! Anyway The Wild Orchid Cafe was warm and inviting and I enjoyed a Guinness with my Bison Burger while Julia sipped a glass of wine with her Crab Cake.

Then it was a quick walk back to the dealer, while observing that 'it looked like snow', and indeed it did look like snow. But it didn't snow here, although we later heard that much of the East Coast north of us did in fact receive as much as several inches of the white stuff. But not us.

We headed home, stoked up the fire and had a little rest. Soon, lightening, followed quickly by rumbles of thunder and then an ominous drumming on the house. Turning on the outside lights and looking out I saw - - - Hail, Marble sized and heavy, the ground was soon completely covered. Julia had no sooner voiced her worry for the fate of our flowers than it had stopped. Barely 5 minutes long but the damage was done. Some of the Daffodils and Primroses were broken, but her main worry, the Lenten Roses seemed this morning to have survived unscathed.

It is cold again today and the forecast calls for temperatures only in the 40's for the daytime this week with it being right around freezing at night. We are hoping that our proximity to the waters of The Bay and our Lake will keep us above freezing.

Soon, very soon we hope, spring and summer will be here.

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