My friend the finch

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I keep a birdhouse on the back porch. It is just outside the window when I am in my office. Every year house finches build a nest in it.  They are fun to watch and they sing beautifully.  They are busy little birds. When their young hatch they will be even busier gathering food and bringing it back to the house.  I bought a new birdhouse this year. It is empty. The birds either don’t like the house or the neighborhood.

Finch on a bird house


Turkeys and other traffic hazards

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It isn’t unusual to see a turkey walking down the street in St. Paul but lately, they have gotten pretty brazen. Sometimes they stand in the street and stop traffic. They can and do fly when properly motivated. As for other traffic hazards, most are lime scooters.

The Tom in the picture strolled through the neighborhood about a month ago with his seven wives or girlfriends. Turkeys walking down the street or blocking traffic are more common in the spring and the late fall.  I didn’t quite get the face on this one but you can see the pretty feathers.


Gardening is always a challenge

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Gardening is a favorite hobby of mine. In general, I like plants more than I like some people.

Real estate is the busiest in the spring. Even in the years when home sales slow, spring is still busier than any other time of the year. A significant portion of our business happens in May and that is also when the vegetable and flower gardens need to be prepared and planted.

Most years I don’t think that I will have time for a garden but I always find a way. Here in the bold cold North starting a garden in June works too. The tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers don’t grow much until the daily low temperatures are above 50 degrees. My yard is on a limestone river bluff which means the soil is warmer and we have excellent drainage.

This is the first year that I don’t have a firm plan for my garden but I am sure I will come up with something.

Gardening is worth the work. A longer growing season would be nice.



My property tax walk

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Every spring I walk to 90 Plato blvd to drop off my payment for the first half of our Ramsey County Property taxes*. Yes, I am well aware that I can pay them online and that is usually how I pay the second half.

I walk over the high bridge and down the hill to Plato and drop off the payment and then walk along plato to Wabasha street and then over the Wabasha street bridge to Kellogg Blvd. and then to West 7th and then home again. It is a lovely walk on a spring day and it is a reminder to me that I am privileged to have the time and energy to make the 3 mile walk and am fortunate to have the resources to pay those exorbitant and ever rising property taxes.

I took my property tax walk yesterday. I enjoyed the views of the river along the way.

View from the river bluff
View of downtown from the top of the Smith Ave.High Bridge

*If you live in Minnesota your property taxes are not due until May 15, 2024.

The monster in the skyway

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I walked the skyways to get home from a recent trip to the Union Depot. It was cold that day but mostly I chose the skyway as a way to avoid traffic from an event at the Xcel Center.

The photos are of the skyway between 4th and 5th street at Robert Street. There is often art in the skyways. I liked this but didn’t notice the eye until I got home and looked at the pictures. In fact there are two dragons. Now go find them and have a great weekend.

Skyway downtown St. Paul
Skyway dragon

Next time I walk that skyway I am going to stop and talk to the dragon.