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a good day for cuckoos

My family drove from IL to MN on Thursday. We arrived late in the evening and didn’t have that much time to look around, but we did see a lot of tent caterpillars.

First thing Friday morning I went out to the common garden. I flagged plants and planned to mow a few walking paths because Caroline was coming to figure out which plants were going to flower in the inb1 experiment. I paused while mowing and heard a black-billed cuckoo. Then I noticed that there were a few flying around and I heard several calling. I am positive that there were six birds within earshot, but I think there may have been eight. I have never seen more than one a time. It was really neat. There was one calling east of the common Garden and three calling from the shrubs and boxelders along the west edge of the CG. They also flew across the corn field to shrubs next to the wetland west of the CG. Two birds were cavorting in the ditch and flew right next to me on their way to the cottonwood at the NW corner of the CG. Very cool!

It is good to be back in Minnesota. The common garden looks fine. The kids are in their element. I can’t wait for the field season to start! But first: unpack, set up computers, clean the Hjelm house, bring beds to Kensington, go to graduation party, get sleep.

The township supervisors (Joe Martinson, Carl Hamen, and Ken Anderson) drove by inspecting ditches. They are planning to cut trees on the township road N of the driveway because someone can’t get their combine through.

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