Many areas of the country have been enjoying the blisses of spring for a few weeks now. On February 10th we made a trip south to Utah and saw people working in their yards, blowing leaves out of flower beds, raking up dead grass, and trimming trees. It was an amazing sight to us, because before the day was over we headed back home to the cold wintery Idaho which still had almost 2 feet of snow on the ground.
I keep tabs on the temperatures in a few places that I have a personal interest.
It's always kind of annoying to see how our temps here in Rexburg stack up.
Right now, for example, Newport Oregon is touting sunny skies and lovely 64 degrees. (and my kids wonder why I want to move there.) In New York where Andy is, it's a balmy 68 degrees. I hope he's enjoying it, 'cause here in Idaho it is now 41 degrees. It actually feels pretty darn nice. I didn't wear a coat or sweater today. Just last week the low temps were hitting single digits so this really does feel like spring.
Our snow has been slowly dissappearing over the last couple of weeks. I watched as our yard has metamorphosed from a wide expanse of white, to grass-rimmed snow fields, to patchy snow on our lawn.
I always watch the snow melting on our lawn with a kind of fascinated horror. I know what I'm about to see. As the snow recedes you can see the evidence of mice. Anyone who knows me well can tell you of my aversion, no, my crippling phobia, of mice.
We have a very large lawn, at least an acre, and there are mouse trails and mouse huts everywhere. Mice will build up a little mound of grass under the snow where they can stay safe and warm as the snow insulates them. They look like little grass huts.
They are kind of fascinating. In the same way that seeing an accident on the freeway is fascinating. You don't want to look, you know you will probably be sickened, but you just can't help yourself. I felt myself drawn to one of the larger mounds. I had a long stick and reached over and flipped some of the grass away from the top. My nerves were jittery to the point that as I flicked the grass away I felt myself shudder and leap backwards. Morbid fascination drew me close once again and I flicked away some more grass.
This time I saw what looked like about 6 little smooth oval stones. I thought, "how odd, do they use the rocks to hold heat?" Then I looked closer.
"EWWWWW! YUCK!! I shuddered and scampered away as quickly as I could. They were baby mice. They were about an inch long each, and they weren't moving. I couldn't get close to it again. But just then Joni came out and asked me what the heck I was doing. (I guess the sight of a 50-something year old woman poking with sticks and jumping around the yard was kind of noticeable.) I told her what I found, and Joni, ever the scientist, came out to invesigate. She pronounced them dead. Burns, our master-mouser cat was right behind her and caught sight of these tasty little bite-sized nuggets. Joni had to wrestle him away and then she gave the little critters a proper burial.
I hope Joni checks out the rest of the grass-hut mounds for me. I don't think my heart to take another round. And I definitely don't want any surprises during the first time I mow the lawn.