May is going to come in like a lion

More on that next week after the snow and wind hit the State. It is cool, wet, and windy now.

I saw a comment about the Burma Shave signs. The person said these disappeared because of Lady Bird Johnson’s highway improvement project. I don’t know. Anyway, here is one and there are many more images on the internet.

Many plants are blossoming and/or leafing out. The walnut trees didn’t get the memo. Either the -17 degree temperature in December killed the primary buds or a recent frost did. They may yet leaf out as happened once or twice since they were planted 25 years ago. The small squirrels will miss them if they go.
Two plants with yellow blossoms are now fully in bloom. Both are natives and handle the cold. Oregon Grape is one, the other is Golden Currant [Ribes aureum]. Ribes is a false lead to be ignored. Aureum is a reference to the yellow flower. The local variety has translucent berries. Leaves are somewhat odd. New plants pop up all over the place and must not have a taste the deer like.

I have Yellow-bellied Marmots. When we moved to this area in 1989 the property was marmot free. About a mile south, there was a pile of logs with a family using that for a home. We saw them frequently on the logs or crossing the road. Their range is expanding. I think this is a result of a decrease in the coyote population. That may be related to an increase in mountain lions. Hunting the big cats with dogs was banned in 1996. Other than my casual observations, I’ve nothing on which to base my ideas.
Anyway, the marmots dig under things and leave piles of rocks and dirt – including tunneling under one of the sheds.
I (finally) made sense of another thing. Here is a photo of the remains of a container. This was undamaged when I filled it with scraps of wood years ago. About 4 years ago I noticed it had a tattered hole in its side. I wondered about it – Did I hit it with something? – but it was a small hole and I was busy with some chore. Over the last year, the hole got bigger until the contents started to spill out. This week when I walked by, the thing is collapsed. My guess: The glue-impregnated cardboard must be tasty or nutritious to the marmots. However, I have not seen the consumption in progress.

Note there is no debris – no bits, pieces, or dust. All is gone.

On the Naneum Fan
John H.