Some White Surprises, Other Than the Snow

Submitted by Art & Barb Straub,

A week or so ago, April 8th, a photo appeared on the magic screen, that of a white pigeon on a roof in St. Peter. So what? There are lots of pigeons in St. Peter. What made this bird different was that the pigeon was alone, and stuck around for a bit. Next came a phone call from a farm family west of Henderson…a white pigeon in a farmyard, no other pigeons near. This particular bird walked about on the lawn as though he/she owned the place. The farm owners were able to get photos, and when our photographer arrived, the beautiful bird allowed her to come very close, and get more photos. The proximity of the winged-white-one continued for four days, and then, disappeared. Upon studying the bird closely, one could observe a band on its right leg. Although partially obscured, some of the letters/numbers read “E1652.” Out in the ‘great somewhere’ among our readers is someone who could give us further guidance as to the identity of the beautiful bird. Was it a homing pigeon or a racer? Curiosity is burning a hole in our noggins. Feel free to make contact at 665.2658.

The merry month of March wafted away like the thorn of a thistle, but for a few warm days, the thorn remains. Vultures made their appearance the last week in March, along with six garter snakes at Vern Bienfang’s, Scott County. Sandy Schultz reported Turkey vultures around April 1st, and they REALLY made their appearance known in trees across from the Ann and Rich Buesgen’s farm on Hwy #93. One snowy evening, Bruce Bjork captured 52 on film for proof of their arrival. Since then, each evening at sunset, the ebony red-faced creatures appear on the LeSueur water tower and at the Bruce Frank ball field. A great variety of road kill is abundant for their delicate taste buds.

In spite of the beastly continuous wind,
wood ticks have been out and about, while on the one warm day of spring, wood frogs began quacking in shallow area ponds. Anyone observing the out-of-doors has noted ribbons of blackbirds, robins, starlings and grackles chowing down on bird feeder left-overs. Sprinkled among the red-wingeds, Mary of Foxborough Lane in LeSueur noted and took a photograph of a yellow-headed blackbird on April 15th. Dean of west Henderson found fresh dead grass sprigs in one of Judy’s and his bluebird houses. Poor robins! Even if they were in the nesting mode, mud for building nests and leaves for camouflage are sorely missing.

Action at Vern Bienfang’s farm has been in high gear. Easter bunnies brought fourth five bundles of joy in one nest, three in another. Moscovy ducks, geese and a couple of turkeys plucked ‘down’ from their breasts and are incubating away. Vern held his breath and covered his electric incubator with a coat when the power went down leaving the entire LeSueur area without electricity. A dozen multi-colored chicks had hatched earlier and are well on their way and growing … like chickens!

Farmers learned the lesson long ago, don’t count your poultry before they’re hatched…or afterward for that matter.
Such is life among the critters at Vern’s farm. And what are YOU, the reader, observing? P.S. Did you plant potatoes Good Friday?