Saturday, March 10, 2018

Bluebirds and Spring

One of our springtime treats at Roshara is seeing the return of the bluebirds. By late March and early April, they are usually back, not long after the winter snows have melted and before the prairie grass has greened up.

We built a bluebird trail about forty years ago, as a way to encourage bluebirds but also as a way to define the boundary between my property and my brother’s. The trail stretches for nearly a quarter mile along the southern border on my farm.

My son-in-law, Paul Bodilly, is the chief birdhouse maintainer and builder of replacement houses. We’ve discovered having a metal roof on our bluebird houses increases their life about twice. But we still have many with wooden roofs. Some other basics of bluebird houses: the hole should be 1 ½ inches to prevent larger birds from using the house and to help keep predators such as raccoons away. The entrance hole should be about six to ten inches from the house’s floor. Bluebird houses should be placed about 100 yards apart.

Don’t be alarmed if a pair of tree swallows takes up residence in your bluebird house. At Roshara, we have about as many tree swallows as we have bluebirds.

Violating the rule to place bluebird houses away from buildings, we have a house next to our vegetable garden. We have had a bluebird family there every year for the past ten years. What a joy to work in the garden and watch a pair of bluebirds go in and out of the house as we work.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: A bluebird has the blue sky on its back and the orange sun on its breast. Its arrival confirms that spring has arrived.


Saturday, March 17, 9:30-2:00. McFarlene’s Store in Sauk City. Every Farm Tells a Story.

Friday, April 13, 7:00 p.m. Fine Arts Center, Adams-Friendship High School. One-Room Country Schools.

Sunday, April 15, 6:30 p.m. Lebanon Historical Society, Fire House Community Room. One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDs and his Books from the Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
Phone: 920-622-3835

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, One-Room Country Schools, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, and his latest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guidebook for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.

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