A few days ago, I posted about the feeding station for the birds. This morning when I entered the kitchen and looked out, it wasn’t there. Upon closer examination, the pole was pulled over, the feeders emptied and some minor damage. It doesn’t look like the doings of a bear, but probably a raccoon climbed the pole and was too heavy toppling it. All the sunflower seed and the new suet cake were gone, the suet cage bent and the lid ripped off. The pole was stood back up and anchored with rocks as the fork like prongs that stabilize it in the soil are bent, the feeders cleaned up, repaired, and refilled. I guess one of my new evening duties is going to be to go out and gather the feeders and bring them in to the garage for the night from now on.

Yesterday afternoon, I did go out to work on the fencing and realized that it is too much for me to do by myself, so instead, I finished rebuilding the garden boxes. Several years ago, I purchased cedar raised bed boxes from Home Depot. The box assembly as a grooved post and the boards fit in the grooves. That assembly did not hold up well. I have been taking them apart, and using outdoor deck screws, fastening the boards to the outside of the post, making the boxes slightly smaller but sturdier. One box needs leveling before I can finish filling them with compost to planting. If I ever succeed in getting rid of the mint that I foolishly planted in one several years ago, there will be a blank spot in the garden as I removed that box to make mint removal easier. The box failed to contain the mints and mint is in the aisles and beginning to appear in adjacent boxes. Lesson learned.

The area to the right of the lowest box and barrels will be a corn patch. I rarely plant corn unless it is popcorn in a three sisters garden, but decided to try some sweet corn this year.

The peas are coming up nicely, I am happy to see. Still no sign of spinach and the flat started in the house several days ago is also not germinating, it might be a poor batch of seed.

With the warmth comes the Carpenter bees. I had left the traps up overwinter and dumped the contents early this week. They are already filling up. We don’t usually see them until mid May. This is indeed a weird year for the climate.

As the day cooled and the sun was low, I took my walk down our rural road. Nothing new to see, the calves were not where I could see them from the road, but I did find a branch with many shelf fungi on it.

Once dark has fallen, I retire to my easy chair and knit or spin. My current project is a lacy skinny scarf out of hand spun wool and silk for my daughter. It was in my lap along with my needle case and I realized that they nicely coordinated.

I am determined to get at least one run of fence between the chicken pen and the garden stable today so that I can let the hens clean up that side of the garden area. The forecast is for it to get into the 80’s today in March.

Vernal Equinox aka First Day of Spring

It dawned clear and very springlike warm. The large flock of turkeys were in the hay field, but moved to the house side of the fence and strutted and swelled doing their mating ritual. A zoomed shot, cropped and zoomed again shows a Tom strutting his stuff. We had some clouds later in the day, even some misty sprinkles of rain. To wet from prior days rain to work in the garden, but not to wet to play with deck pots. Rosemary and thyme were put in pots, one half barrel planted with Mesclun mix, radishes, and Chinese cabbages. Some weeding around the barrels and the back bed.

Exercise yesterday was rock moving. When we rebuilt our deck last year, it is smaller than the original. You can see the original bottom step with the terra cotta pots on it. Daughter in law has built a stone wall from the edge of that step to the base of the retaining wall. There are still lots of stones that were under the old deck. The larger flat ones are being used to create a path to the step and will be expanded to make a small patio for the grill. Several of them were jigsaw puzzled together to extend the first part out a few more feet.

The hens got a spring cleaning on the first day of spring.

Unfortunately, there was only a slight half bale of pine shavings so there isn’t a very deep layer. Since we are self isolated, I don’t know what I will use when it is soiled. Maybe after a few dry days, I can go rake oak leaves to use.

The hay man sent the Southern States truck out yesterday to spread fertilizer and lime on the hay fields. Since winter was so mild, the grass is already growing. Normally, the first yard mowing isn’t done until May, but working in the back today, that part of the yard already needs to be cut. I guess I will have to go down to the village general store and pump a can or two and hope that the riding mower will start.

Though there is a fair amount of rain due in the next 10 days, the temperatures will remain mild to warm. It is a good thing, my favorite WoolX hoodie had a major zipper fail night before last. I want to commend the company. When I contacted them, they sent me a label to return the damaged garment and shipped a new one to me immediately. It isn’t the same color and for that I am disappointed, but I will order another in the gray next fall when they are again in stock.

Sunday, Family Day

Today was a gorgeous day, perfect for lunch out and a walk on the Huckleberry Trail. The scrub bushes are beginning to leaf out, some of the trees are about to flower and it is too early. We will have a freeze but in the meantime, seeing the snowdrops, the crocuses, and the buds swelling on the daffodils is delightful.

The nice weather has the hens laying nearly as well as summer. A bad day now is 4 eggs from the 9 hens. A good day is 7. It always amuses me when all three Oliver Eggers lay the same day. One lays green eggs, one lays Khaki colored eggs, and one lays pink eggs.

Daughter had a “I want to move to Australia” week, so we had them over for dinner. Fifty years ago on a flight to Hawaii, I found a recipe for Hawaiian ribs. The recipe works equally well for pork chops, so that was on the menu along with egg noodles, peas, Naan bread liberally spread with homemade garlic butter. Daughter brought an Angel food cake, strawberries, and whipped cream, so we had dessert too.

Some time was spend spinning on the little Jenkins Delight Turkish spindle, spinning a colorful fiber sample. It is a dark wool base with silk, silk noils, bamboo. I’m not a fan of noils, but spun it to lacy weight noils and all. I will ply it tomorrow and measure it out.

We have no appointments this week. I will be leaving on Thursday for a fiber retreat, leaving hubby to deal with the critters.