Spring seems to be coming on strong here in my part of the world. The lawns are chock full of robins and killdeer are peeping in the waterways. Haven’t heard a sound out of the spring peepers or chorus frogs yet. The ground is still freezing at night, giving me brief relief while doing the morning chores outside.
I decided I needed to hit the hills and see how spring is progressing away from town. There is still plenty of snow on the ground of the north facing hills. The melt off has been nice and slow compared to the last few years, just giving the creek a touch of dingy-ness. My mood took a real good jump for the better when I unknowingly happened upon a hen wood duck, sending her squealing downstream. It’s nice to know they are back and now I’m wondering how the spring waterfowl migration is coming along.
The Department of Natural Resources were supposed to start stocking the stream I visited today with catchable rainbow trout, but they didn’t make it as the roads are too mushy for their stock trucks. That was perfectly fine with me, though – I had the stream and it’s population of wild brown trout all to myself, and was even able to bring one to hand. Had a few chasers, too, but just the one hookup.
I had planned to get a project or two done this weekend, but with everything that was going on, nothing much got done. Better luck next weekend, I guess. I did put down a thin layer of straw for the chickens to walk on around their enclosure, which they really seem to enjoy. Now and then we’ll look out there and see a group of three or four of them laying huddled together in the sun. I haven’t been able to catch a photo of them all together because the second I open the back door they get up and run to the fence wondering if I have a treat for them.
Still only getting one egg a day and am waiting for my daughter to get herself set-up so she can take two of the hens. But I think I am going to start getting more eggs, because all three nest boxes have been having indentations from a setting hen in them, which happened a few times before our first egg. Fingers crossed. Thinking about giving away another one or two of the hens, also. Four sounds like a comfortable number.
It sure has been refreshing doing the chores outside under skies that are finally looking like spring skies, with the fresher vivid blue and pillowy clouds here and there. The male sparrows are chasing down the females, though now and then a female will instigate trouble. A male cardinal has been using the taller maple and basswood trees in my backyard to call out to any prospective mates. Through that music and the racket the blue jays are making chickadees can sometimes be heard with their “reeetin”, talking amongst themselves. On the drives into work, farmsteads that still let their birds have run of the countryside have their chickens, ducks and guineas taking in the weather by grazing through the water-filled ditches with their slowly greening grass. Spring seems to be slowly creeping in.
As much as I appreciate the change into spring, I have to say that after all these years, I am getting tired of mud. It seemed it wouldn’t be so bad this year, but we got a lot of snow late, and it’s taking it’s time melting. The dogs and the chickens are excellent at moving along the mud making processes.
We’re starting to eat our homegrown eggs now, and that is a good feeling, though my son said this morning that one of the hens laid an egg outside under the coop and they were all pecking at it and broke it. I’ll have to look into that problem and come up with a prevention plan, along with rethinking where the run is located. Seems runoff from the neighbor’s yard is running right down to the chickens, dammit. A new rabbit hutch needs built and the old one burned up – that will get me out to buy a buck to go with the one doe I have left.
Spring…Lots to do.
Take care –
It is time for a change. It’s kinda funny how this feeling is running right alongside with the approaching spring, but with the new arrivals from the south – the robins, grackles, and red-wing blackbirds ( who really gave me a surprise yesterday) – change is bound to happen one way or another to the fabric of my being. Change is all I seem to constantly notice.
There’s good excuse for my need to make constant changes. The kids have turned into teenagers (one has left the nest already) and will be leaving the house very soon. My wife’s rhuematory arthritis is crippling her up pretty good, so my need to hang around the house a lot more is dramatically increasing. It seems I’ve been preparing for this change for awhile, as we’re raising laying hens now and I knew all along that Rhonda wasn’t going to be able to participate much in caring for them. Same with the rabbits I’ll be starting up this spring. And the gardens.
My move from a constant wanderer of the hills is happening right before my eyes before I wanted, or anticipated. Hmm. Something different and new. Sort of like traveling. This shouldn’t be so bad and I’m pretty good at making the best of things, finding the brighter side.
I’ll write again soon. Take care –