Sunday, April 3, 2022

Spring: March 2022


Spring arrived bringing with it .5" rain which was not enough to solve the drought issue, but certainly was a help to our yard. It seemed like the next day all of our plants had leafed into lushness. 

One highlight to the month was an invitation by my nephew Johannes to meet him and his three little ones as the Sacramento Zoo one overcast Saturday. We were the surrogate grandparents as my brother and his wife were in Ohio visiting another grandchild. I hadn't been to the Sacramento Zoo since I was a kid, and I don't think Dan had ever been there. The Sacramento Zoo was established in 1927. Over the years it has grown from 4.2 acres to 14.3 acres. This year it may move south to the town of Elk Grove to give it more space to grow.






Another highlight was the monthly Art and Ag event arranged by Yolo Arts. All events are at farms in Yolo County which is quite a distance from us, but it takes us to places we've never before explored. The March event, sheepdog trials, was in Zamora, California, at the Slaven Ranch. It was a beautiful time of the year to be there with the hills mostly spring green.

We didn't realize what a big deal sheepdog trials were. There were Border Collies and handlers from all over the west plus at least one group from Ontario, Canada. This was a final trial before the national competition. There are also international trials with host countries rotating each year. 

These dogs haven't had sheep trials for 2 years due to the pandemic so several were out of practice or this was their first competition. A few of the younger Border Collies were there for the run and missed the part about gathering sheep.

The handler whistling instructions to a Border Collie



When the dog has the four sheep "penned" and time is called, the dog happily jumps into the tub to cool off. Dogs release heat through their mouth and through the pads of their feet. After the 11-minute trial, this was the fastest way to cool down. All handlers had whistles around their necks and carried shepherds' crooks. 




One of the ewes next to the barn delivered a baby while we were roaming around. It looked like she might have another coming eventually. Returning to the barnyard after sheepdog trials we found that she had indeed delivered another.


Mama Ewe welcoming her twins

People aren't the only beings who enjoy watching Sheepdog competitions

Another highlight for me was having another photo accepted by YourDailyPhotograph.com

YourDailyPhotograph.com asked its contributing artists to donate one image each for sale as an NFT to benefit Ukraine. 100% of the money goes to UkraineDao for food, housing and assistance of Ukrainian citizens. From over 1,000 works we received, our team of expert photography curators (over 100 years of combined experience) chose just 40 images to present in this collection. 

The 40 photographs available https://opensea.io/collection/photographersforukraine


In Velvet
Worry about Ukraine's survival was constantly on my mind in March and continues still. The two people that we still know who lived in Kyiv and Kharkiv were finally able to get out safely, but if ever to return may find all that they know of their cities destroyed. Both have family members and friends still in Ukraine. Слава Ukraine 🇺🇦!

So those were the highlights for March. Our normal life is filled with taking photos of our cats and Spring flowers. March marks the beginning of Lizard Season (it lasts as long as it is warm) and Turkey-mating Season (just a few weeks).



I came home one afternoon to find The Dating Game going on in our circle. 

The Bachelorette ignoring the Bachelor Contestants 
The Bachelors waiting for their questions
The Bachelorette did not make a selection-game over
Much of the year our landscaping is dry and dull, but in the Spring it is glorious.








The statistics for both our county and the state were very good in March. The cumulative total of cases/deaths at the end of March was 26,788 and 203, respectively. That's an increase of 223 reported positive cases and 8 deaths. Additionally, the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions was zero on some days. The rate of fully vaccinated persons ticked up .2% to 60.4%.

We will be San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for Semana Santa (Holy Week).

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