Sunday, March 12, 2023

Spring, Glorious Almost Spring

Yes, that is Almost Spring, as we have had a blast of wintry weather this last week. 

After three days of rain and clouds, we have sun today, thank heavens, or your blogger was about ready to give up the ghost.  

Bulbs are raising their heads, and buds are trying to open.  We do have some rain in the forecast this coming week, and I wish it were going to be a little warmer, but Jax, my grandson, who will be on vacation, will be working getting my yard ready for spring with me. 

This is the eighteenth year I have been here, and seen this daffodils come up.  You see the tree has grown so much that the box someone built around it has burst.  Oscar, my heart dog min pin, is buried under this tree.  
The people here directly before me were a father and two sons... I doubt they planted them, so I am grateful to someone in the far past for this spring surprise every year. 

This is the treeline of the 26 acre undeveloped piece of land directly across the road from me.  Before I moved here, there was a fire on it, but as you see, it has grown back and is nearly impenetrable.  I am told there is only enough water on it for one house, and we have fought as neighbors to not see it developed as a strip mall OR a fueling point for the local propane coop.  
At night, I often hear coyotes there. 
A week ago, I heard coyotes on both sides of me, haunting at 3 AM.  Several of my friends asked me to record them at that time, and I would, except I invariably forget to grab the phone when I take the dogs out.  This morning at 1:30, I heard a few calling to each other from "The Wild Area", as I call it. 
There is a communications tower on this land, and it brings in 800.00 a month rent, and a local realtor is the owner now.  It scares me that it will be developed with something totally inappropriate for the neighborhood, but we have banded together three times to fight developments... one was a putting green!  

Something cool happened here this week. 

Last November, a tree man who had worked here before stopped by to give me an estimate.  There had been a storm the night before, and I had a walnut with numerous hanging branches over my old hen house.  Parats (his name) was kind enough to climb up and pull them all down, and his sons stacked them neatly for me. He gave me the estimate then, for the work I wanted done in the pasture. 
I had decided to trim under many trees, and eliminate some saplings that were getting out of control. 

Six weeks ago, he called me one day to see if they could work that afternoon, but I was away from home. 
This week, he called to see if they could come Wednesday.  I said YES. 

(it was only a half day's work for them, so they were fitting me in). 

They brought in three big vehicles. 

I had two mulberry trees that had so many big branches down that I could no longer cut under them. You see one almost down on the left, and there were many more.  These guys cut them up, threw them in the wood chipper, and then raked under both trees, it looks like a park down there. 

The white thing you see is boards from my raised beds, they are on the brush pile.  I can actually SEE the brush pile from my porch now, because all the branches are gone. 
They also took down about ten big saplings that were going to be problems, three were in the rings of these trees. 
They painted everything with Tordon. 

Those trees where you see the man working had branches so low I had trouble cutting underneath them. I am so grateful to get them removed and painted over. 

The whole operation was not without drama, though... as the big truck came out, he became stuck in the mud in the gateway.  If you squint, you can see there is a winch on the front of the truck, and it was being slowly winched out.  The crazy thing was, nothing got stuck UNTIL they got to the gate, and the pasture was soft from the rain we have been getting. 
I have a highly and I mean HIGHLY rutted gate right now that will take months to heal.  But, I am indebted to Forest Keepers Tree Service for another job well done! 

The week before, Good Neighbor Troy came over with his Kubota, and carefully pulled into the sheep yard and pushed into a pile all the boulders that had become embedded in the ground and prevented me from mowing well in there.  While we were in the Big House, the renter here had put two hogs in there.  They had taken the piled boulders in the middle (for our goats) and spread them out, and some became buried.  It was almost impossible to cut in there, and even the sheep could not keep the grass trimmed. 

Troy also moved a huge boulder at the back of the house that made me swerve out of my cutting line, and another on the side, and both moves will make it so much easier to cut this summer.  

Troy picked up three huge engineered posts that had become embedded in the ground on the pad for the Barn That Was Never Built, and moved them down to the brush pile. 

I don't know what I did to deserve such good friends. 

Teenie is back to sleeping in the wood stove.  She is the most-picked on cat here, and very tiny.  She is one of my favorites.  I had her neutered by a local rescue a year ago. 

We went from 70's back to thirties this week, and Wanda has been sleeping in a nest box again.  She and Coco hurry to get in when I lock everyone up at night, Wanda in the Big Hen House and Coco in the old hen house. 

I started some flower seeds, but nothing like as many as I started vegetables and flowers last year.  These are out in the shop. 

The Egg Dam is slowly breaking.  Chickens lay less in the winter, with the shorter days. 
On Wednesday, I got six 18 month old chickens.  They are production reds, meaning hybrid layers designed to lay a lot of eggs for a year or so, and then be replaced.  
They are in the old hen house with Singleton, the rooster and four other hens. 
I have not seen a huge outlay from them yet, but it is early days, and my seven original red hens have begun laying again. 

This is Sunday, and so far, I have eight... and there was a hen on a nest with at least two under her, and another hen with one. 
I also have not checked here yet. 

Can you see the hen?  I have to get on my hands and knees to get the egg out, and so help me, if there is something in there that goes for me, that's IT! 

This is the doghouse that the possum died in in December, no one has been using it, until this hen. 

I found a lot of blood in the shop one morning, and other spots in the garage. 
(That's the beautiful Cleo) 

This guy turned up with a swollen paw, and then a wound that was leaking blood. 

Bullseye was NOT happy to go to the vet, and let me know in no uncertain terms. 
His wound is healing... the vet thinks he was bitten.  He has all his shots, so got a two week antibiotic shot to get him over the hump.  The leg looks much better.  

I am so grateful for blue skies today, the days of clouds were getting me down. 
Can you see the moon between the trees? 

I hope the weather is calming down whereever you are reading this.