Sunday, March 31, 2013

last day of March

This year the last day of March is also Easter Sunday. Here at the farm it is barely above freezing, many shades of grey, and with a brisk wind that brings tears to the eyes. Nevertheless, there are signs of spring in every direction. The first robin heard and sighted just outside the bathroom window. A flock of raucous Redwing Blackbirds showing up at once bringing a splash of color, music, and energy where there was none the day before. A tiny patch of bare soil with definite knobs of eager green daffodil shoots surfacing for air and sunlight, well at least daylight.

There is no need to color eggs, as there are none as beautiful as those gathered warm from the nest boxes in our snug chicken house. The hens and their intrepid rooster ventured out in a rush today but retreated back inside after a brief explore. No sun to warm their feathers, soil too wet for dust baths. Who can blame them.
Spring IS arriving. She's just taking her time after all the flack Mother Nature got for last year. Winter is over and a gradual, steady spring has arrived. So often spring blurs past. I am going to be grateful she's taking her sweet time.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Can you feel it? Do you smell it? There is a subtle shifting going on. The ground is still covered in snow. There isn't a single spring bulb exposed and emerging. And yet...
While clearing a path to the chickens on Saturday I saw gliding on the air currents above me, no less than 6 large birds. I was able to see that the nearest two had white heads and tails. Bald eagles just enjoying the day. Floating over our few acres. The  light in the sky had a quality similar to that during a partial solar eclipse and there was a full and amazing ring around the sun. Totally alone, struggling with deep drifts, I nevertheless felt the blessed company of creation not only around me, but throughout me.

Several days ago a friend and I were remembering that last year at this time so many of the summer birds were already here. She promised to tell me when she spotted her first robin. Her email arrived yesterday during an all day snow.

Just when the spirit sags reinforcements arrive.
On this Monday of holy week, days before the turning of the calendar to April, and surely spring, I wish for each of you such reinforcements of the spirit.
Oh, and maybe you'll get a chuckle from this little photo Jerome sent me. I know we have chickens on our minds over here at "the farm", but maybe you too see what we see.

Friday, March 22, 2013

happy birthday, dear one



capable and determined



fearless in the kitchen

woman of deep thoughts and powerful feelings

my daughter, Anne.
Happy birthday today, wherever you are (adventuring... )

Thursday, March 21, 2013

wherefore art thou spring

First full day of spring.
Ok, I'm ready for better days.

A mug of tea, a good book and a summer chair.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

a short take

I had a "little" surprise in the chicken house yesterday...

I'm eager to see what's inside but don't want to open it just yet.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

trying to beat the blues today

We've had so very little sun in the past few weeks. Just when you have a few hours and begin to feel hopeful that spring is around the corner, it gets grey again.

Today rain and fog. Thursday and Friday afternoons there were sunny hours and the chickens were out, but not today. They did enjoy the kale I brought out for them,

but I could see they were eager to look past me into their yard, hopeful expressions in their bright eyes.

Tomorrow night 5-9 inches of snow predicted. Ugh. If it happens, after tonight's thundershowers, it will most likely be the heavy, wet snow that I'll struggle to remove. I shouldn't complain, since most of the snow this winter has been almost a pleasure to handle, but by this time in winter I'm truly sick of it. Oh me, poor me.
The deer are totally destroying our yew hedge. There's actually very little green left there.  Walking to and from the chicken yard this morning I noticed evidence of sampling on nearby trees and shrubs. My delivery of the spray deterrent, Bobbex, is due by the end of the day on Tuesday. I'll be out spraying all the fruits and what's left of the roses, even if I have to do it in the dark. I tell myself in true farmer spirit that we well survive this hiccup and this summer will take action to avoid this destruction in future winters. But my heart is heavy.
To distract myself I've been trying to look at the seed catalogs I've collected. To work on my next wool appliqué project. To rearrange my quilt blocks.

I have long conversations with Mya, the old soul.

And take time to smell the flowers.

When I meditate and gather healing energy to send coursing along my chakras, I have no trouble naming my blessings. But this blue-ness has a tight hold today.

Friday, March 8, 2013

guess who's been coming for dinner

This week they are so bold as to arrive each afternoon well before sunset. I stand on the upper balcony and beat a pot with a ladle and they scatter... for a while.

After a few days of this I'm wondering if when they hear the sound they think they're being called to supper. Yesterday there were 14 at 6:00. I watched them for a while. They don't enjoy sharing, posturing and chasing one another away.

Loud noises are temporary deterrents at best.
A dog will be adopted after Jerome joins me. Not fair to introduce a dog before the man.
Bobbex has been ordered and is on its UPS way, mostly to protect the young fruit trees and berry canes. So far it's the yews that have kept their attention and if sacrificing them saves my fruits, then I can't complain.
People I've asked all say that the deep snow cover is making it difficult to find food. I look out at all the woods and fields and shrubbery within sight of our little acreage and wonder why they are so hungry they need risk being out in the open in daylight to eat in my back yard. Over 300,000 deer were "harvested" this past hunting season in Wisconsin alone.
Clearly, we have work ahead this year to preserve and protect before next winter.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Impossibly tiny feet, precariously narrow ankles, voracious appetites.

It snowed here on Wednesday night into Thursday morning leaving a clean canvas for footprint art. This morning I took these photos from the upstairs balcony overlooking the back lawn. Two evenings of silent visitations by what now appear to be resident deer.
It's going to be a challenging garden season......