Monday, March 26, 2012

Pictorial March on the Canadian Prairies

by Anita Mae Draper

March 2012 is about one month ahead of our average springtime after an extremely mild winter. I think our lowest temp this past season was -21C/-6F whereas we'd normally go down to -40C/-40F or lower. Brrr

Mar 2: We start our pictorial with a photo of 13 yr old JJ and his 2nd ride ever on our Yamaha snowmobile. Until this point, we just hadn't had enough snow to make it fun. But the day was gorgeous so Nelson had JJ watch him go a couple times around the island in our yard before letting JJ take it for a spin.

As I stood on the steps and watched him go around, I was very worried. After all, if he came toward the house too fast, he could hit the truck, the house, me or kill himself. I began to pray.

With good reason! He took that far corner and sped up instead of braking! Och! Yes, the snowmobile was still running as JJ took off on in a hurry. But He was unhurt, PTL.

After that, Nelson fired up the BBQ for burgers. Regardless of the temperature, when Nelson wants burgers, he goes out and BBQ's them. Of course it would be easier going to McDonalds, but since the closest one is over an hour drive away, he doesn't let a little thing like snow and cold stop him.

Mar 3: A foggy day. Pretty, but deadly. It caused some horrific highway accidents throughout the day.

The fog cleared and left icicles everywhere. That didn't stop this House Sparrow from checking out the old birdhouse.

Mar 5: The birdhouse must've been acceptable because the House Sparrow was back with a mate. The female is on the top left, the male on the bottom right.

Mar 8: Freezing rain overnight paints a shiny layer of ice although this House Sparrow seems unimpressed.

Mar 18: Pussywillows on the Mountain Ash tree.

A lone Red-winged Blackbird checks things out in a Poplar tree.

Mar 21: The Canada Geese and Snow Geese are migrating over our farmyard.

A whole flock of blackbirds arrive and spend their last days of bonding in the poplar trees before separating for the summer.

Mar 22: This male has staked out his territory and is already on guard for intruders.

Mar 25: I'm watching the pussywillows because I'm curious how they grow.

The robins came back about a week ago. This one is in the Purple Royalty crab tree. I feel like saying, "You can fly, but you can't hide."

And yesterday I caught the Muskovy ducks playing a round of King of the Castle.

Spring is here!

The above photos will soon be added to the jigsaw puzzle pages of my website at

This next one won't be though...Mar 8th: A self-portrait of me signing the Books & Such Literary Agency contract. Hello Mary Keeley. :)

So? How's spring for you this year, and is it a normal year?

Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at    


  1. Thanks for showing us your March. It was a crazy winter over here too. So very mild. Of course I love the last photo the most.

    1. Thanks, Deb. I almost didn't add it, but when I checked my March blogging folder, there it was.

      I'm glad the winter was mild as you didn't need extra heating bills.

      How was Williamsburg in March?

  2. Our spring has been extra warm. Last night was the first time we've used the heater in weeks.

    1. Wow, Dina. So what's your bird population like then?

      Do you get robins at all? Do they stay all year? Pass through in March? Or Feb?

  3. I love how you document things, Anita. The puffed up bird pic is precious. I'm so glad JJ wasn't hurt!

    1. Thank you, Suzie. I can't help it. I have to take pics of all God's wonders. And talking about them is the only way I can justify the expense of the SD cards for their storage.

      Yes, believe me, Nelson is very glad JJ wasn't hurt either because momma bear was coming out to play!

      The funny thing is that when Nelson & I were dating, he used to take me trail riding on his 250cc Honda motorcycle. Once, we were in this Meadow and he got off, but told me to stay on. I drove a moped all one summer so knew how to drive it. But the noise of his Honda scared me so much that I panicked. Instead of braking for the turn, I twisted the handle and ended in bushes much like JJ did.

      Let's just say that when JJ did it, too, Nelson just gave me this look and shook his head. Like mother, like son. *sigh

  4. thanks for sharing your spring with us. as for JJ, glad he wasn't hurt. that photo brings back memories of when I was his age, ripping about with the plethora of other grandkids on my grandparent's farm in North Dakota. imagine about 20 cousins sharing five snowmobiles and racing about, attempting things no sane children should. *heh*

    amazingly, no injuries. of course, we had rules that Grandpa laid down and no one wanted to lose their snowmobile priveledges by breaking them. that would mean we'd miss out on all the fun.

    love the pic of Nelson grilling in the snow. men, meat, and fire...

    1. DebH, you have so many wonderful memories of North Dakota and Colorado... You really should post about them.

      You've already been offered the invitation to write a post for the Inkwell... And I'd like to extend the offer to post at Author Memories since I've opened it to non-published writers.

      As for Nelson grilling in the winter, he once promised Jessie she could have a campfire with hotdogs for her 16th birthday. The day arrived, her friends came, and they went ahead and partied.... In the -20C/-4F weather that changed to freezing rain by 9pm. And every time someone says that's too cold to rain, I look at my notes. Because it did. And that's when the kids all came running up to the house.

  5. oops.. forgot to sign above comment.

    ps: absolutely love the last pic. happy dancing for you still.

    1. Awh, thanks DebH. And thanks for making me look good.

      Now, about that book cover idea... So you think I have a 'caveman' drawing style, eh. You didn't have trouble capturing what I drew, though. Haha.

  6. Oh I'm so glad JJ's ok too! Whew!

    It also looked really fun. :)

    Spring here has been slightly more wintery than winter was! We just had a good storm, snow in the mountains, etc. Things are looking green and lovely, though. My crepe myrtle budded into leaves overnight Friday, and my daffodils have bloomed, bright and cheerful.

    Love the pics! Especially the last one! I am so happy for you, Anita. What a joy.

  7. Spring here has been slightly more wintery than winter was!

    Oh, Susie, I know the feeling. I had to put my polar fleece jacket on to walk to my office today since the temp is at the freezing point. Brrr

    And tomorrow is my night to go meet my local writing pals at Le Macaroon in the city. My one night a month where I splurge on fancy coffee and a seat by the fireplace. But the weatherman is calling for snow. Oh yuck.

    I'd love to see your crepe myrtle someday. :)

    Thanks for celebrating with me. I thrive on the support. :)

  8. What beautiful pictures! We never did get any winter down here really. I'm afraid to think what summer might be like. O.o

    Oh, and I like your last one best. Congratulations again! :D

  9. Thanks, DeAnna, on both counts. :)

    Don't even think about summer! Because no matter what you get, someone somewhere is going to have it better or worse, depending on what God gives them.

    And yes, as I drive through the snow tomorrow, I'll be thinking, "Someone needs this snow. It'll be good for the farmers. It'll be good for the gardens. It'll be good for me if I just sit back and enjoy it." Yessiree, that's what I'll be thinking. LOL

  10. Susie, I didn't address your comment about JJ and skidooing... It is fun. :)

    However, I haven't driven a skidoo since I was a teen and got hung up between two bumps... the front skis on an incline, the track on a decline at the back, and nothing beneath me for 3 feet. I have no idea how I did it, but I didn't want to do it again.

    Kinda reminds me of canoeing, but that's another story. Ha!

    I was appalled when Nelson first sat JJ on the Yamaha and after showing him the controls, let him zip around the yard. I had to go inside. I figured he should've gone out to the field at least where it's wide open spaces, etc. But Nelson said it was safer in a confined area. Well, I guess he was right about that part.

    BTW, in the photo where Nelson is BBQ'ing, that diamond paned window is the door to my office. Except I don't use the patio door, I use the main house door so it's farther than it looks. But not much farther. :)

  11. Amazing pics, Anita. Love the one with you signing your contract too.

    Our winter was mild too, and spring early. With temps in the 80s last week (while there was snow in Arizona), my husband has teasingly started calling Buffalo the Miami of the North.

  12. Can't say I'm a bird expert, but we have tons of them. A lot of birds come here in the winter. The birds I notice most often are woodpeckers, redbirds, bluebirds, and yellow finches. I guess the bright colors catch my eye. I'm sure we have robins, but not sure if it's in the summer or winter. We also have lots of sea birds. And right now we have a dove sitting on her eggs in a bush under my bedroom window, so we can look right down and watch her.

  13. In the 80's Barb? Yowza! I've always wanted to go to Miama. LOL

    This is so funny... here I wanted to showcase the wildlife and everyone's commenting on my pic. Well, my mom used to think I was wild. Haha.

  14. That's so cool, Dina. You've got quiet a beautiful array of colors to watch fly by. :)

    Bluebirds are supposed to be in abundance here on the prairie and you can't go down a road without seeing a bluebird house on a fencepost. However, I've never seen one in the dozen years we've lived here. Not sure if I'm looking for the wrong hue of blue or if they're elusive, but I'll be thrilled to actually see one.

    Thanks for sharing, Dina.


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