Monday, May 3, 2010

Turkey Vultures and Other News

I've had my eyes on the sky for the past 2 weeks, looking out for my barn swallows, and was already getting worried by their late arrival given that we have had a very mild spring thus far.

On Friday, I noticed 5 large birds circling the field as I walked the dog, and figured they were probably turkey vultures riding the thermals. They aren't common-place here, but not rare sights either. They are known to nest on Mount Rigaud, QC, about 25 kilometers away.

As I looked out of the kitchen window on May 1st, not only did I see my swallows swooping into the small barn beside the house, but I watched as a turkey vulture landed on the roof of our large barn:

Not exactly the prettiest of birds, but graceful and elegant in flight.

Here's a Starling in comparison, to give you an idea of the proportion of these vultures - they are really big!

...and finally, joined by its mate, here are both birds:

I was glad to see these birds up close, they are impressive, mainly because of their size, but something tells me our little swallows will provide us with more antics this summer.

On the farming front, our field is planted with wheat this year - my favorite crop. Soy is boring, corn is claustrophobic, but wheat can't be beat. By my records, the wheat was planted a month early, and the field is already green and getting greener by the day. The snow a few days ago did no harm (the same can't be said about corn), and I hope the weather will be conducive to a good crop this year.

We had a high of 26 degrees C on Sunday, May 2. Not only was it warm, it was very humid - the Humidex came in at 30 degrees C. The sweat was just beading on Eric as he hauled the Gyproc upstairs to complete the guest room. Here we were, one of the first HOT days of the season, and we were cursing this infernal climate already. Every year it's the same thing - moderation is not our forte. It's either prohibitively cold and we complain, or it feels like the Bayou and we complain

At least our house is comfortable.

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