Spring finally arrived in Madison. The forecast calls for patchy frost on Friday evening, but let's hope that's just a particularly brutal winter trying one last time to hang on.
Dalla spent most of Saturday trying to dig something out of the woodpile near the patio. We've seen chipmunks run into there before so that's what we assumed she was after. She spent at least two hours running around the woodpile; sticking her nose into space between logs; digging big holes at strategic locations; and even moving logs off the pile. I tried several times to distract her once I saw she was moving the logs around because I didn't want her to get hurt doing that. She tended to move logs near the bottom of the pile and there was a real possibility that she could cause a cascade of logs onto her head or feet. She wouldn't be distracted, however, so I started unstacking the woodpile. Once she realized I was helping, she got very interested in the process. Eventually, I got most of the woodpile unstacked and took a break for lunch. She carried on, however, and after moving another log, she came out of the woodpile triumphant...with a juvenile rabbit in her mouth. She was quite proud of her prize, so we let her have it for a while before bartering a treat for it (and then putting it in the trash). There's a photo of the mighty hunter and her prize in the photo gallery. Sarah and I have been quite busy installing replacement aluminum soffits on the house. I took Monday off of work and spent almost twelve hours working on a ladder to get both the north and south sides of the house done. The east side of the house is almost done, we just have to remove the gutter (somehow); nail up the fascia; and then replace the gutter (somehow). The west side (the front of the house) is started, but it is the most complex and will take the most time. Sarah has gotten to be quite comfortable with the reciprocating saw, so she's been working on cutting holes into the soffits that can be reached with the 6' ladder while I've been laboring on the higher gable ends with the extension ladder. The goal of the whole project is to increase our attic ventilation so that house will cool down faster in the summer and prevent ice dams in the winter. In addition, we shouldn't have to scrape, prime, or paint the soffits ever again.
While I was in San Francisco, Sarah took the reciprocating saw to the remaining evergreen bushes in front of the house and now there are none left. We never really like them and how we can plant something we like better in that space.
Other than tearing things out, we haven't done too much gardening yet this year. I planted some peas about a month ago, but the rabbits ate them. Sarah planted some more peas last weekend, and since she surrounded them in chicken wire, we're hoping for better results this time. Dalla, of course, did her part by reducing the number of rabbits in the neighborhood.
Finally, I took a reasonably nice photo of the capitol building with part of the usual array of tulips that surround it in the spring.