|WISCONSIN WEEPING WILLOWS ARE IN BLOOM AND LEAFING OUT FROM WAUSAU SOUTH|
|BRADFORD PEARS ARE BLOOMING IN MILWAUKEE|
|A HUNTER'S 80TH BIRTHDAY PARTY|
|BILL, THE HUNTER, AND ALENE ,THE HUNTER'S WIFE|
Monday, 7:45 AM. 37 degrees F at the ferry dock, 34 on the back porch. Wind NE, blowing a gale. The sky has a low overcast and it has rained all night, an accumulation of 1.25". The roadside ditches are running full and more is predicted for today. The humidity is 96% and the barometer has bottomed out at 29.82". The old sailors say a nor'easter lasts three days. so this may hang around for a while.
Our trip to Oconomowoc for old friend Bill Peebles' 80th birthday party was a great success, both party-wise and travel-wise. First, a phenological report on the trip from north to south through the center of the state of Wisconsin: spring is still in the earliest stages of arrival in the far north, but by the time we got to Wausau in mid-state things were waking up, the iconic Wisconsin weeping willows being in full bloom and leafing out throughout the south half of the state. Tamaracks are just leafing out from a bit north of Wausau to fully leafed out south. Everything is leafing out now in the south, and early flowers and shrubs are in full bloom there. Bradford pear trees are blooming, and even some wild plum bushes. I think daffodils are mostly through, and tulips and Hyacinths blooming.
We stopped to visit with Joan's brother Harry and his wife Sharon, and they had flocks of big turkeys at their bird feeder (he feeds them dog food and it obviously agrees with them). We stayed with my cousin Sue, and on our return trip we saw four trumpeter swans on their northern migration. They were resting at the marsh just south of Hurley.
We had a wonderful time at Bill's 80th birthday party, which honored him as a family man, community leader, and as a hunter and conservationist. Few people remember nowadays that American hunters were our first conservationists, who supported the 1937 Pitman-Robertson Act that established taxes on ammunition for the conservation of wildlife, and that they still pay for significant conservation programs to this day.
Bill is the best wing shot and the best naturalist I have ever known, and I have known plenty of both. Bill was a serious conservationist long before most of today's environmentalists were born. Being first an educated farmer and later a builder and developer, he understands land use from both a business and an ecological perspective, which is a rare talent indeed. He has not only built subdivisions, he has restored and preserved marshes and prairies, and has been a leader in the preservation of farmland and farming in Oconomowoc County and throughout the State of Wisconsin.
Happy Birthday, old friend!
Happy Birthday, old friend!