Though a single Hummingbird is visiting during the day, only the one has been spotted and not frequently enough to try to catch a photo. But other signs abound.
The apple blossoms against a bright blue sky, as I mowed below them yesterday, the second mowing already this spring, though less of the property is being mowed, with the hope of either more hay mowing or at least a wild meadow. Son 1 suggested last year when he mowed for me that too much was being done on the little riding mower. Without consistent teen helpers around, I agreed and less is being done this year. The section below the garden where the garden used to extend, and between the garden and the orchard where an extended chicken run used to be are very rough and hard on the mowing machine and the mower rider. I have self debated whether it could be smoothed with the tractor blade and reseeded, but somehow the chickens would have to be kept out while the grass grew or the effort would be fruitless. They have denuded two areas where the grass was thin to dustbathe already since being freed back to wander the farm. Trying to keep them penned is an act of frustration as they dig out under the fence and once a hen has succeeded, others follow. The entire run needs to be disassembled, expanded with new fence wire, a chicken wire base that turns inward a foot or so to prevent tunnelling, and a top. It isn’t worth the effort or expense to do that, so they free range and become hawk bait.
Part of the entourage that run to see what “treat” is in store whenever anyone steps out of the house.
A very poor photo, zoomed to the extent of my phone and cropped to further enlarge, of two Toms doing their spring dance to entice the 3 hen turkeys nearby. Zoomed as they are about 200 yards away. This dance is a sure sign of spring.
The first bird nest of the year in a Viola hanging pot, just put up a few days ago. Probably the Wren that builds in one of the pots each year, but I haven’t seen the bird on the rim yet and there are no eggs to identify. In a day or two, there will be eggs and in about 24 days, babies. It is hard on the plants in the baskets, but providing a nesting spot for the little Wrens is more important. Watering those plants has to be done carefully so as not to soak the eggs and nest. The only time I see them is on the planters, as Wrens don’t come to the feeders.
Today, the swallows were checking out the nesting box that they steal from the bluebirds every year. The bluebirds will get the second one as the swallows won’t occupy two as close together as the two in the garden are set. I still want at least one more house for the garden area. The birds help keep the insect load in the garden reduced.
The Peony’s are up. Though they are about 15 years old, they only began blooming a couple of years ago. Hopefully, they will bloom this year. It isn’t the best location for them.
And the lilacs are beginning to bloom.
The tomatoes and tomatillos have been planted deeply in tall single use plastic cups from fast food to allow them to grow more roots up their stems as many nightshades are prone to do, it will make for stronger seedlings when time to plant. At that time, they will still be planted more deeply than they are in the cups. Along with the pepper starts, they are spending their days on the back deck table in deep mesh baskets to protect them somewhat from the breezes, to harden them off and strengthen them for planting out next month.
Another sign is the proliferation of Carpenter bees. Living in a log home, they are inevitable, drilling into the fascia boards to nest and emerging on every warm day. Though we dislike the damage the woodpeckers do trying to get at the larvae, the bees do not sting and are pollinators like other bees. The fascia boards could be replaced with a material they wouldn’t use, but then the fear is they would attack the logs instead.
Definite signs that the dark winter has drawn to an end. There will be more chilly days, even a frost or two, but the worst is over. Today it will approach 80f here with clear, blue, sunny skies. There are a few days of cooler, not cold temperatures and some rain in the half week, but the trend is toward more consistent warmer weather.