“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
― Henry David Thoreau
With the arrival of warm weather brings with it fluffy babes of gold.
Buff Orpington chicks. They are so sweet and docile, and after our experience with Mr. Nasty, ( one time he jumped up, thrust his feet forward – right into my husband’s…yup. Right there.)
So, I did a bit of research; I wanted a more docile friendly breed. I thinks these will do just fine.
We were also lucky enough to add this beautiful girl to our pasture.
She is a half sister to Our Phantom of the Opera; a big boned, heavenly fine, lustrous fiber. Delicious. Would you just look at that face. ( Go ahead, I’ll wait.)
Last fall she had a haircut, a full body haircut. I can’t wait to see her fiber when it has grown out a bit more. (insert little girl squeal here).
When I put her in the pasture with the other girls it was clear I’d need to move the Angora goats girls to another pasture; she had no clue what they were and she was not eager to be friends.
So, they ate my dress. Well, not all of it, just a nibble; but it was an ancient cotton dress and tore easily. I was a little embarrassed to be walking about the pasture with my bottom wobbling in plain daylight. They didn’t care, they gave a look back, stuck out their tongues and walked away.
Do you think that could be a goats version of pants-ing someone? Let’s move on. No need to give them much attention for bad moves.
We get a little giddy around here when new animals arrive, but I have to say I was over the moon with this arrival. A vintage 1970’s era, cast iron, work horse of a tiller.
Troy built. Please dry out this week, garden, please. I wanna till.
Isn’t she lovely.
The gardens of course. You didn’t think I was dusting, did you? ( I clean a bit every day, so no big spring clean for me.)
Back to the task at hand. The gardens. (How quickly I am diverted). March weather was so fickle and was terribly miserable here in Upstate, NY. Not much could be done to tidy the garden, really it was mostly covered in snow until the last week end in March. No telling what havoc Old Man Winter has wreaked ’til the snow is gone.
I have to resist, there is temptation to pull back the mulch protecting fragile plantings, eager to see any sign of new growth. The mulch, the protector, I so carefully lay before the frost, gives shelter from sudden changes of temperature and chilling winds, keeping cozy this fragile growth. It’s still winter here, essentially. The ground was white this morning. (If I quietly turn away, maybe it will take its leave.)
(I thought of finding a more attractive picture, but this is really how it looks – ugly. Let’s keep it real)
Tempering myself, I’ll slowly remove the mulch as the days and weeks become steadily warmer,
I tell myself, it is much better to remove the mulch a little later than to remove it to early. I try to hurry Mother Nature, to no avail. I love Spring anyway.
Don’t forget to clean out your birdhouses early before the birds begin nesting again. I haven’t seen the bluebirds yet, but others have.
While it will be awhile before the season of blooms arrive, my garden list is readied for season. I can’t plant during this early spring, (I haven’t even been able to get peas in the ground); I bide my time.
Maybe this weekend there will be enough of a thaw.
The frost line was very deep this year. Even inhibiting maple production) there are some chores I’ll do to get it in shape before the real gardening begins.
Give my old clay pots a wash; a good scrub using a solution of baking soda and water.
I’ll clean around and map out the area for new garden beds. (that may be a good job for the girls, they live for this sort of thing. Don’t you Simone?)
Don’t let this photo fool you, they really wanna help.
This is how they work, great team aren’t they?
While I’m at it, I should try to remember where I planted spring bulbs. Do you remember? You were there, weren’t you? If you remember, please share; I wouldn’t want to dig them up.
I don’t think they were paying attention. Chickens can be like that you know.
Alternating thawing and freezing can tear plant roots and even force the plant right out of the ground. If I notice any plants that have heaved, I push them back right back where they belong – into the soil, and pack the soil lightly with my foot.
Ooh we can’t wait for green, Revie and I. Of course, she’ll be more interested in nibbling than helping. But, who can blame her.
As soon as I see new growth, I’ll divide and transplant summer blooming perennials and fertilize (with llama beans) the plants in there forever beds.
Is there a forever in gardens, nah, let’s just move on.
Spinach, Chard, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and other hardy vegetables will be started from seed late in the month. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.
Well, come on girls, we have work to do. Hey, wait; where are you going? Girls? Girls?
This is what April [usually] looks like on our little cottage farm. Do you suppose Mother Nature plays April fools jokes? I’d like to think she has a sense of humor.
How this place we call home looks today?
They are too discomfited to allow for company. You do understand, don’t you?
Perhaps the chooks will let us visit?
Uhm, guess not, they choose to not even show their faces.
The goats are happy go-lucky, let’s ask Shelby for a visit.
Oh, Okay. We get the message, we’ll visit another day.
Be well, and take the light of the Lord with you wherever you go.
Winter. Just another of life’s adventures; fraught with roller coaster temperatures and seemingly insurmountable layers of snow and ice. A journey that forced us inside, inside ourselves to ponder our dreams and the roads we have already traveled. To navigate our paths, or wander serendipitously, our minds open to what could be.
Something about the near hibernation plummets me into retrospect, a desire to reroute my intended destination; to find joy in my journey, succumb to the stillness. Be. It has faded , winter; I struggle to rectify the inside with the out. I listen to melody of my past, believing the best is yet to come. Fresh beginnings, new goals, bright dreams; they are all there in the song. A song of sweet nothings. I delight in the sweet nothings now, the season slowed me enough to recognize contentment in the ordinary. The sunrise, the sunset, skyping with my husband 10 thousand miles away, puppy kisses, baby giggles, or a llama’s whiffle; these are gifts that could slip by without being noticed, aren’t they? Keep your eyes and your heart open lest you miss life’s beauty. Some of the best moments are the simplest. Be well, catch the moments and hold on tight. Jess
I guess, there really is no sense in complaining, we are all in the same boat. The weather has the upper hand. Mother nature must be hung up somewhere else and forgot we are stuck in winter. It’s like an old record that skips, the tune moves ahead just bit only to be bounced to where it began.
We take advantage, although somewhat reluctantly, of the quiet days. Soon the pace will pick up. They’ll be gardens to till and beds to prepare. The peas are ready to go in, along with the spinach, chard and other hearty greens.
I keep telling myself to be patient, enjoy the here and now; rest while you can. There will be busier days ahead.
Yes, Lexi, they’ll be time to play. But today we wait and plan, plot, and prepare.
Richard the Yorkishire Terrier/Papillon mix (2 yrs)
Diezel the Treeing Walker Hound (3mos)
Finnegan the Bernese Mountain Dog/Poodle aka Bernedoodle (7yrs)
Lexi the Black Labrador Retriever (6yrs)
Enjoy the wait.
“I have found out that there ain’t any surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain
I know good team work when I see it.
In the future, I may need to make it a point to embark, with friends on a trip to test our compatibility. Because if you can make it on the road dealing with logistic snafus, idiosyncratic nuances, digestive challenges, utilizing your Travel IQ, overcoming car breath (ya, know, the I have been in this car for 24 hours with no tooth-brush breath) and physical dissimulation, well, you can deal with the more mundane daily issues of life. And I firmly believe that. But, no, there was no test drive, so, let’s just do this!
We (8) were heading to Iowa from NH, Connecticut and the Capital Region of New York. The logistics of that alone may be staggering to some, hold on though, we had llamas in tow, they all had to get to Dakota Ridge Farm, then they had to fit in one trailer. One trailer, at one farm, so that we could leave at one time! They arrived in vans, well 2 vans, and a trailer; The Trailer. The one and only trailer. Do you see a problem yet?, Nope, me neither.
We’ve all arrived at DRF, everyone with their llamas, showing paraphernalia, clothing, water bowls, llamas, hay, coolers, blow-dryers, tents, health certifications (the llamas, not ours), muck boots, llamas, show boots…pillows, don’t forget the pillows. Yes, all of this has to go in one trailer. No worries, I know a good team when I see one. Paul and Todd have the spatial relations to configure a viable traveling equipment formation – did you get all that? Of course, we were to leave by 8:00, it is now 10:00, but what are a few hours spent in the company of friends.
And Head ‘em out
This travel adventure takes extraordinary determination, chutzpah, daring, grit, and even some intestinal fortitude… Are you up for it? Well come along as we hit the road.
What a wonderful trip, last June, with wonderful friends. We hope to do it again this year!