Spring has Sprung!

3 Apr

A few signs of spring! Rhubarb - I can't wait!

This has been – for everyone in the United States – a weird winter and an even weirder spring. My Parents in Washington are getting snow showers and here in Minnesota it’s 88 degrees. Just weird.

One of the things about living in Minnesota, is that you can’t help but adore spring. After months of snow and ice and cabin fever, springtime is like release from prison…most years. Like…every year except this one…

BUT…that being said, I am not complaining about an early springtime! I am not complaining that the daffodils are a month early…but it does make me a wee bit nervous that we’ll get a cold night and the fruit trees will get bitten by frost…I sure hope that doesn’t happen.

We’ve had a lot of fun already this spring. We’ve had a cookout, we’ve mown the lawn, and we’ve got three kittens!

Life is good.


Promise of tastiness to come!

A sure sign of Spring: the pelicans have returned!

Aren't they fun?!

I love my telephoto lense!

The proud mama!

24 hours old!

Mama and babies.


Last Monday - one week old.

Never before have we had a cookout in March.


28 Responses to “Spring has Sprung!”

  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots April 3, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    Don’t you love it? We sat around a campfire in March, too. My husband missed March lawn-mowing by a day.

    But, like you, I’m apprehensive of a hard frost or snow. This weather seems to be too good and I keep expecting the opposite, bad, any day.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 7:53 am #

      Yes, it’s nutty…but wonderful! I am not a big fan of hot summer days…so that makes me a bit aprehensive, too. But the humidity at least isn’t an issue like it is in summer. I’m really looking forward to the return of the Orioles!

  2. hotlyspiced April 3, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    What strange weather. The weather we’ve had the last few days has been better than what we had all summer and we are now well into autumn. You’re right – it’s weird. Your kittens are just too gorgeous and I love the look of your outdoor fire – would love to do the same here but outdoor fires are illegal! xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Oh, so sad not to have a fire! I think in most cities here, people can have them in small enclosed metal fire-pit things. But we’re out in the country on ten acres of land, so we don’t even have to rake the leaves! Love that.
      I’m glad that you’re finally getting some good weather after your cold summer. It will be interesting to see how summer plays out on this side of the globe…

  3. gardenfreshtomatoes April 3, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    You’re so much warmer than we are…after 3 days of 40 degree rain, 45 and sunny feels positively summer-y!

    Fingers crossed for all of us that spring is truly here, and the fruit trees will all be bountiful!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      Yes, I sure do hope that the fruit is safe. I think that normally you are milder than we are, with your proximity to the ocean…everything seems to be topsy-turvy this year. I hope your days improve and you can get outside and enjoy it!

  4. ceciliag April 3, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Those pelicans are tremendous, you are so lucky and at last the kittens have arrived.. we are warm and glorious out here as well and you will not hear any complaints from me either not after last spring!! c

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      I know, aren’t those pelicans fun? They’re just so silly – I even love to watch them fly – all over the sky, none of this orderly goose “V” stuff for them.

      The kittens are a hoot – the kids are loving them. Yes, a good spring is a lovely thing!

  5. Kathleen Erickson April 3, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    On our Minnesota walk this morning we noticed daffodils in full bloom, azaleas, and magnolias. It almost seemed as though we were in Washington–including the cool, damp weather!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 11:34 am #

      I know! I’ve felt like that, too! I love the azaleas. I bought a rhodedendron a couple years ago but it didn’t survive…that would have really made me feel like I was in WA and OR! Can’t wait for the lilacs. They’re wonderful in MN, aren’t they?!

  6. cravesadventure April 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Great Post – Great Photos – love the little balls of fur and she seems like she is a good mama! Have a Great Day:)

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks! I think she is a good mama, yes, which is a relief as I’m clueless about what I should do otherwise! Enjoy your day!

  7. Just A Smidgen April 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    How fantastic to have a campfire in your yard (a big one by the looks of it!!) I love the nature that surrounds your home.. and I love the wee little sweet kittens in your home! xo Smidge

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

      It is very fun, that’s for sure. I’ll be posting more spring pictures, too – and more of the back yard! I am excited for the kittens to be old enough to be out of their box and running around!

  8. Shirley Dykstra April 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I too was so elated to see the pelicans–got here on March 20-last year it was April 19. In Tx. there are white and brown pelicans. The brown ones do not migrate. The ones we
    get here are the immature adults(?–interesting concept) known by the bump on their top
    beak. They do not nest near here at all, they just hang out trying to grow up–(another interesting concept.) There must be a blog or 2 in those concepts :-). I think people could
    grasp a few ideas from them!!!!!!! But yes, just loving having them around again.Have a
    great Easter with your wonderful family. Sh

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      I had not idea about the young pelicans! I did wonder why we never saw babies, though, so I love that you explained it to me!! How did you know all that?!!!

      • Shirley Dykstra April 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

        Well there is a thing in me that can not be eradicated. That thing
        is having been a teacher and always needing to know and learn
        more-something new everyday(although today has not been productive yet.) I just love nature so I always ask questions whenever there is an “authority” figure around. So one day as we
        were touring a nature area in Tx. there were pelicans around and I
        always wondered about why there were no pelican nests or babies around here and he being the “authority” told about the immature
        “adults” and places where they do indeed breed, which is not here but up north further in several states and Canada. Inquiring minds need to know.

        • Shirley Dykstra April 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

          Oh, and did you want to know about why they have 2 chicks and
          only one seems to ever survive? Not a pretty story. Got that
          answer from watching the free movies in Tx. Marine institute at Port Aransas (where we stay in the winter.) They show free nature movies 4 days a week (for free-that is the best part) and
          most of them are just great with information and beautiful
          photography. The answer is that often the dominant chick pushes the other one out of the nest and the parents do not
          feed chicks on the ground. Sorry gross but true. Sorry.

        • Shirley Dykstra April 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

          P. S. they also do not make any kind of “speaking” noises or
          squawks or chirps , hmmm, maybe burps????

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 5, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      That is all amazing information! I had no idea about any of that. Nature is full of gross and cool, isn’t it? And yes, isn’t it interesting that some creatures make no noise…when I ask Lucy what sounds a turtle makes she shuts her mouth tightly and stands very still. I suppose it’s good that the pelicans make no noise – that could get very loud and annoying! They seem to have moved on now from Lake Bella – perhaps another group will come at the usual time of year? Strange. I’d always wondered about those funny lumps on their beaks – as well as the no babies. Thanks so much for sharing your widsom!

      • Shirley Dykstra April 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

        Glad to share. Just glad you let me share in your writings too,
        Always fun to read and so enjoyable. Funny too sometimes
        one can really relate to something. Glad you enjoyed my
        “spiel”. Inquiring minds need to know. Have a great Easter with
        you family.

        • Gretchen O'Donnell April 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

          Thanks, Shirley! I’m just so glad that you enjoy it! You have a great Easter, too – a lovely and warm one for once!

  9. bitsandbreadcrumbs April 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Awww, love your shots of spring and am completely enamored by those cute little babies. Mama kitty really does look so proud!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      I think she is! I’m certain that I’ll be posting more photos in the days to come!

  10. whatimeant2say April 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    It’s seasonably warm down here in San Antonio, but I still appreciate your pics of spring up north! Love the kittens, too!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 3, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      I’ve never been to Texas, at least not that I remember. It’s a place I’d like to go before I die…though I’m not certain that I’ll die if I never go. Does that make any sense whatsoever? I’m certain that a northern spring is vastly different than yours…and yet also much the same…if that makes any sense either. (I think I’m tired.) I can’t help but wonder if Wonderbutt would eat the kittens…?!

  11. Malou April 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Our spring is also pretty weird, Gretchen. The nights are still freezing but 2 weeks ago, we already had warmer days that we even had bbq. Now it is chilly again but I hope we have a warm Easter (though forecast is wet and cold).

    Lovely pictures especially of the pelicans and those cute cats. 😉

    • Gretchen O'Donnell April 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      I have a feeling you all will be seeing a lot more kitten pics in days to come! They’re just so fun. This is the warmest Easter we’ve ever had, I’m sure! I hope that yours turns out to be out-doors-worthy!! Got to see pictures of The Netherlands at Easter!

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