May 24, 2003

April 26, 2003

There have been more crocuses this year than in recent years.  All I can say when I look at a hillside is "WOW."

April 13, 2003

April 10, 2003

June 1, 2002

April 2002

Photographs of crocuses (pasqueflower) taken on Sunday evening, April 21, 2002.


March 21, 2002 marked the first day of spring in North Dakota.

However, the official day - "in my book" - arrived on April 6, 2002.

After a mild winter, everyone thought that March would be very warm - well, we were all wrong.  I believe that we had a colder average temperature than in December, January and February.  And we received more snow in March than all of winter.  The cold weather trend continued into early April.  And yes, April 5 was cold and everyone was wondering when spring would arrive.

Well, April 6 came, and as I stepped out the door in about mid-morning, the warm air immediately told me that spring was here.

Because of the nice day, we (my family) decided to spend part of the afternoon and evening at the farm.  We drove out at 3 p.m., and glanced at the outside temperature - 67 degrees Farenheit - WOW!

We met my dad on the prairie (in a pasture), and went for a hike on the "brown" landscape, which would soon be greening up.

We stopped at one location and dug into the ground, and found frost about 4-to-6 inches down, a reminder that the effects of winter are still here.  And there was still ice and snow in places where the snow had drifted, or where it was directly shielded from the sun.

The wildlife seemed abundant.  We scared up seven deer, which quickly took off for the western horizon.  A little while later, a gray cottontail rabbit raced down a waterway.  A meadowlark, and some other birds, added some lovely music to the walk.

After supper, I took a little walk west of the barn and windmill.  I surprised seven geese, and watched them gracefully fly to a new location to the northeast.

The sun set about 7:20, behind some clouds that were lit up brilliantly with orange, pink and purple.  Soon thereafter, about 7:25 p.m., I spotted the planet Venus high in the western sky.

As we left the farm around 7:45 p.m., we could easily see the planet Jupiter and the bright star Sirius, while Saturn was barely visible in the bright twilight.

In less than one month, we will be able to see five visible planets in the western sky after sunset.  That will be a beautiful sight.

As we drove home, I wondered if the crocuses would be "out of the ground" if we came back to the farm one week later.  The warm weather - predicted this week - should almost guarantee that will happen.

And when it does, we will be out right away to enjoy the "new life" after another North Dakota winter.

April 2001

The crocus (also called the Pasqueflower - Anemone patens) is a favorite.  The flower signifies that spring has arrived - as the plant is the first to grow after a long winter.  Typically, the crocuses bloom in mid-to-late April - of course, the weather plays a major role here.  After the crocuses bloom, they brighten the brown landscape for about one week before drying up.  The flower typically grows on the north slope of a hill where it's cooler and moister.  I have memories of picking crocuses as a young child - a tradition that continues today.  Photographs taken on April 24, 2001.

Photograph taken on April 28, 2001.


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