March, in like a lion….out like a ….lion

This is not a normal March for us. It has been way too cold – 20+ degrees below normal for the highs, lows in the teens and twenties, and 50 degrees lower than March 2012.  As I have been working this month, snuggled in my studio, the wind has been blowing and the snow flying.  In fact, this last snow storm on Sunday night set records in not far away Indianapolis.

This is spring?

This is spring?

We were fortunate to get a lot less snow than they did , but – this is spring?  I bet we had over 4″ by the time it ended.  I didn’t go out to measure.  I wasn’t that curious and gauged it from the railings.  It melted off of the roadways and sidewalks by afternoon and ended up being quite pretty.  When I went out, the roads were totally clear and a lovely, deep snow covered the trees and the grass.  It is almost all gone today.

We have been seeing a bit more wildlife this month.  The transient waterfowl are passing through almost every day.  In fact I saw a coyote checking out the ducks and geese from the far shore.  The birds actually approached nearer to the shore to honk warningly at him.  They got so close he seriously thought about jumping in but then thought the better of it. It was too far to photograph with my telephoto lens or I would have a picture.  He really didn’t have a prayer of getting one but it surely crossed his mind.

The boys

The boys

I have also seen a large flock of turkeys – mostly toms I think – strutting in the grassy area across the lake and over the lawn several times.  There seems to be about 20 of them and they are HUGE.  Some are definitely toms with large wattles hanging off of their chests and a few with smaller wattles.  Some don’t have a visible wattle but the head is red and they seem to have large tail and wing feathers.  Last years babies?  I don’t know enough about turkey behavior to tell know if there are mixed flocks this time of year, but if so, those are some very large hens.

I have worked on the architectural but need to let it sit for another day or so.  I sprayed it lightly to pop the colors, but it needs a bit of depth yet so I want to get new eyes for it.

Flying turkeys

Well I haven’t done too well this week, either in the studio or on the web. I have another  good excuse though. On Wednesday I was diagnosed with a UT stone. I am on the mend now and although it will take two weeks to recover, I am glad to be where I am now, versus the last month.

Since I have barely started  inking on my next piece, I thought I’d give another peek at Wild Crane Overlook’s wildlife. The turkeys have been in hiding for a while it seems, perhaps for hunting season. We have often seen two toms roaming the area and courting the females.  I like to call them Tom and Jerry. Those of you old enough may recognize a cartoon reference there. I saw one tom down by the pond about a week ago. He was looking around, back and forth, before he headed down to the water. When he got down to the water’s edge, he took off and flew clear to the other side. Suddenly, two other toms emerged from the forest edge and flew over the ice to follow him. I guess that was what he kept looking around at. So Tom and Jerry seem to have found another friend. I hope this spring that we can see them courting the hens again. Before we moved here, I had only seen a tom displaying to hens one time in 25 years. Now, we see it almost every spring. It’s pretty exciting. Perhaps this year I can get a photo too.

Turkey by the lake