It is just about April 1st here at Long ridge and we are finally able to see the end of Old Man Winter. For as mild as a winter we did have compared to the usual, it did seem to drag out. Any month beats March here in Northern New England. March has a span of historic temperatures from 70 degrees to -20 F. Day before yesterday it was 15 degrees! Nasty and unpredictable. But during the good days we do get out and start projects. Below you are looking down from the Tall Stand onto the start of a new food plot. I cleaned up a lot of logging debri in the fall and burned a huge pile this winter. Now the final cleanup and then around mid summer I will lime, rake, and prepare the ground for a fall planting of No-Plow or Secret Spot. You won't believe how green this will look. This is primarily a bow stand though the hunters do take deer here with muzzle loaders too. It is not a popular stand because it is within a hundred yards of camp, and 200 yards from the house so the feeling is that people talking and yapping dogs will keep any deer from coming in. Quite the contrary, there is heavy cover here between the farm and the stand and the deer pour in here like water.
Another view above from the tall stand, just to the right of the ATV. This also gives a view of the far field
Typical for April 1, most of our snow is gone. The trails which I ran today are mostly clear (except for ice crushed trees) , with occasional runs of snow. Below you can see the last snow in our fields. Once that is gone the frost will leave the ground and we are off and running to a full spring. Tonight starts a nasty long rain storm and that will likely wipe out what you see of the white stuff .
Above: Once I got to the Far Ridge, I was amazed to see that the opening there was almost completely covered with snow. It is in the open, and unshaded, so I thought I would find it clear. Walking across it I found a foot of snow in places, so I guess it is the elevation that makes the difference. This is just a tad less than a mile from camp...
And last, above you see a project I started several years ago and am finally bringing to fruition. A wild apple orchard - there are a dozen or more trees in here. When we bought the place this area was dark and dank, shaded by huge pines and maples, and poplar. The apple trees were tall and stringy and dying, some already beyond saving. But with a bit of sunlight we let in, and ongoing pruning and logging, the trees are full of blossoms in the spring and drop a ton of apples each fall. The deer gorge on these apples, and turn the soil into a bog!. Today I was in there to prune the apple trees and to remove downed trees from the winter ice storms. I'll post a later spring picture of this area when it is green and beautiful. Next month, more food plot prep, game camera placement, and organizing hangers and ladder stands for the coming fall!