Well, we finally planted our flowers, veggies, and gardens. We even planted two apple trees! I guess we were all a bit anxious after such unpredictable weather. Now that the Birding Festival is over, I personally wish for rain. Who else will water all those plants?

We attended Fiorio’s Spring Fling at Tetzner’s Greenhouse and bought a few more! It is always so sweet to have Glenn Walker provide the background music with his sweet harp. That day I had joined the Ashland Book Club at the home of ex-librarian, Dinny Bolka. We shared lunch, stories and watched “A Man Called Ove.” This is a Swedish film about an old curmudgeon who loses his wife, leads a very structured life, and finds people irritating. Eventually he learns to open his heart to others and becomes a dear man. When I got into my car afterwards, I realized I had blindly chosen an audiobook by the same author, Backman. His humor is subtle, and I look forward to listening to it.

We shared our Anniversary Dinner at Hotel Chequamegon’s Molly Cooper’s. Our favorite waitress, Melanie, knows exactly what we order and had it ready. Mike produced a surprise package for me. He had gone to Maurice’s and asked for a “modern-look dress” for his bride. It is fun, funky and fits me perfectly. What a guy! Tonight, I will wear it when we celebrate the 70th Birthday Party for two special friends who are twins. They are a bit crazy and filled with fun. A last-minute email from them asked us to wear a la-de-da fluffy flower hat, such as one would don if attending the royal wedding. I dug in my hat box (even found white gloves!) and will stop at a resale shop on our way to add fluff to my chapeau!

The Birding & Nature Festival had more entrants than last year’s 280. It is always a great menu of offerings. We started the day with a hike in Washburn with David Bratley. Birds were abundant. We stopped at West End Park and later visited Big Rock Park. Both were sparkling. I watched the film, “The Messenger,” which depicted songbird research in Canada. Part of the research was to weigh the birds caught (temporarily) in a gentle net, then released. Their weight comparison to earlier times reflects the amount they had to eat. Food is more scarce. I learned that not only pesticides and climate change, but noise pollution can affect the songbird population. The mating calls often cannot be heard over the sounds of machinery or oil wells! Also, many small birds fly an amazing distance in migration.

Later I was the passenger in a canoe with Terry and Jeff. Our car battery would not start, so we had to abandon our canoe. We paddled the Pike River for a lovely discovery journey called “Fur, Fish, and Fowl.” Terry shared her knowledge of birds and Jeff his experience with fur trapping. We spotted 19 birds in two hours, plus muskrats and beavers. Their “buildings” (lodges) were on display. We learned that often other visitors (mammals) would stay at their lodges. Jeff showed us how the traps work. Terry identified the birds. It was a delightful afternoon with much learning and little work.

The CORE presentation by the Gibsons showed us Antarctica. They had taken a National Geographic cruise there last year. Yes, it was cold and constant daytime when they were there. The photos of the millions of penguins were worth it all. They were in the Drake Passage, South Pole area, where the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean waters meet. There is concern there due to global warming. An ice expert explained that the ice shelf may be breaking. The sea level has risen three feet in that area. What a beautiful surrounding with both sunrise and sunset visible on the horizon! Chere and Terry recommended the book, “Think South” by Kathy de Moll.

You may wish to know of some interesting events coming up. The Climate Change Lobby (CCL) will present a series of lectures on Tuesday May 22, 29 and June 5 at 4:30 p.m. at the Washburn Library. The topics range from “Our Struggle to Engage in the Climate Change Problem” to “Exploring Skepticism Toward Science” and “Can You See Ways to Forward A Solution?”

If any of you came to my friend’s Weaving Trunk Show at Bate’s Art Barn last summer, you will be happy to know that my weaving teacher, Faye Liberty, is returning this summer with new and gorgeous woven tops and artwear. She will be showing again at Bates on Aug. 11. We always look forward to her stay with us in what she calls “God’s Country”. She lives in Racine and is a dear friend.

Enjoy our summer, your plants, and your friends. Until next week……..take good care.

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