Wautoma, WI
Current Conditions
0:56 AM CDT
Partly Cloudy
Temperature
55°F
Dew Point
54°F
Humidity
97%
Wind
CM at 0 mph
Barometer
30.11 in. F
Visibility
5.00 mi.
Sunrise
05:46 a.m.
Sunset
08:20 p.m.
Overnight Forecast (Midnight-7:00am)
Temperatures will range from 55 to 57 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 1 and 7 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
7-Day Forecast
Saturday
57°F / 55°F
Clear
Saturday
82°F / 57°F
Sunny
Sunday
84°F / 59°F
Scattered Showers
Monday
78°F / 57°F
Scattered Showers
Tuesday
72°F / 54°F
Scattered Showers
Wednesday
75°F / 54°F
Partly Cloudy
Thursday
77°F / 55°F
Mostly Cloudy
Detailed Short Term Forecast
Issued at 0:56 AM CDT
Saturday...Temperatures will range from a high of 57 to a low of 55 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 1 and 7 miles per hour from the northnortheast. No precipitation is expected.
...$dailyWea.get(0).segments.get($o).statement
Overnight ...Temperatures will range from 55 to 57 degrees with clear skies. Winds will range between 1 and 7 miles per hour from the north. No precipitation is expected.
Saturday...Temperatures will range from a high of 82 to a low of 57 degrees with mostly clear skies. Winds will range between 1 and 6 miles per hour from the northnortheast. Less than 1 tenth inch of rain is possible.

Signs of spring (Good and bad)

March 25, 2014 | 0 comments

Ever since Groundhog's Day, people have been looking for signs of spring. Until recently, winter has held a firm grip on our world, meaning signs of spring have been few and far between.

Of course, seeing the first robin is a big sign of spring. For us, it's also the return of sandhill cranes to our back 40. The trio that came our way looked to be shivering in the snow as they came on a very cold day. At the same place, turkeys came out of the woods. We had been wondering about them all throughout this long, cold winter. There's talk of many not surviving, so it was good to see a few turkeys to view. The last to walk into our view were deer. About 20 went single file from our neighbor's hay field, eventually crossing our wheat field. It was nice to see that they also survived our wicked winter.

Many years, we'd be hearing peepers chirping their wake-up call by now. This spring, the frogs are still tucked in. They need more warmth to wake them up.

My last sign of spring isn't one of my favorites. This sign said that the raccoons are on the prowl!

Bob came back inside after doing chores one afternoon. He set a container of six eggs on the counter and asked, "How many chickens are we supposed to have?"

I did not like the sound of his question. There were supposed to be 22 chickens.

Bob didn't think there were that many in the chicken house.

As quick as I could, I slipped into my boots and coat and headed out the door. We were down eight birds. A new hole in an old ceiling panel showed where the raiders had gotten in. The crazy thing was that there wasn't a pile of feathers or signs of blood anywhere.

Bob shook his head. "It looks like some person just came in here and helped themselves to a few of our young birds."

Well, it wasn't any person who had plundered our flock. There, high in the corner, was a claw mark by a hole. Those raccoons had chicken takeout for their meal last night.

Daylight was slipping away. Bob searched for scraps of wood for a quick patch. We also needed a ladder, screws and a power drill. After gathering supplies, we shooed the surviving chickens out of the pen so we could fix the ceiling.

Bob couldn't hold the hunk of plywood up and work the drill, so I stood under and held up the patch with a shovel.

Even up on the ladder, working over his head was a difficult job for Bob. His arms ached as he worked to affix the patch to the ceiling.

I soon learned that looking up while he worked didn't help. The vibration from the drill brought down all kinds of gunk into my eyes.

We did the best we could that night. All holes were closed. We even set up a live trap, baited with a can of cat food. At the end of the day, we wished the chickens well and went into the house.

The next morning we discovered there had been another raccoon raid. We were down to eleven chickens! And nothing in the trap, not even the can of cat food.

New holes had been created by the raccoons in the soft ceiling panels. More patching took place.

I suggested we bring the chickens onto the back porch for safety sake. Bob didn't think much of my solution. We patched more, and all the while Bob grumbled, "We fed those stupid birds all winter long, and now that they are finally laying eggs, those ##%%## raccoons have to get in."

I had another suggestion. "Maybe we'd better turn off the light timer. I think the light works like a beacon for the raccoons so they can find the littlest hole and make it bigger to get in." (We put on a light about 3:30 every morning during the winter so the hens have enough light. They don't produce eggs unless they have 14 hours of light.)

It has been a week now without another successful raccoon raid. Problem solved (knock on wood).

Even with all the carnage, there was one positive occurrence. The raccoons took care of our problem of having too many roosters. We are left with one: the old man of the flock with four-inch long spurs. The raccoons must be gourmets when it comes to chicken dinners. They knew the old rooster would be too tough to eat.

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