Wednesday, March 27, 2019

It's Spring! (But It's Ugly)

Even though it appears that spring weather is coming to the north woods a smidge bit early this year, it still tests our patience by giving us sun shiny days when you really want to put on shorts and a tank top and sit outside on the south facing deck . . . but doing so brings on giant goose bumps and a really cold nose, knee caps and any other exposed body parts.  Then there are the nights when the outside temp is below freezing, and it feels chilly enough that we make a small wood fire inside.

Today we took our pick-up truck (alias faithful plow truck) to our mechanic's garage to have a new emergency brake installed.  On the trip, which is about 17 miles each way, we drove through heavy clouds hanging above us, a blip of sunshine and clearing sky, rain and then some sizeable hail.  Typical spring time weather.

We saw a few deer that have come out of the woods to nibble hungrily on the first green shoots popping up near the shoulder of the road.  One still had a scarf around his neck to ward off the chill.  Yep, he did.

Here on the homestead, the frost coming out of the ground is making mud everywhere there is not gravel.

Or remaining ice patches.

The raised garden beds are nearly all uncovered.  The field garden, in the  distance, not so much.

Our little pond is frozen each night, but thaws a little more each day.

Each fall, Papa Pea takes down the electric fencing that encircles the large poultry pasture because snow can damage it.  Plus, when the snow starts to mount up, the electric fencing doesn't work anyway.  So comes this in between time when there's still snow on the ground in places and the ground is too frozen to put the fence posts back in.  The poultry that has lived in their house and attached solarium all winter long is let out, and with no pasture fencing confinement, gleefully explores territory they haven't seen since . . . well, last spring at this time.

Here a few of them are reacquainting themselves with the area across from our back door by the high bush cranberries.  As long as they don't start coming up and leaving deposits on the back porch, I can tolerate their forays.  Especially since we've been getting nine to twelve (yes, twelve) eggs a day from the twelve hens.  I think a couple of the roosters must be helping.

Spring time in the north woods.  My least favorite season.  But it, like all other periods of the year, will fly by quickly and soon I'll be trying to get out in the garden early enough in the day to avoid the heat.  Right now, that sounds pretty good.


Goatldi said...

We get the emergence of frost through the soil effect also. The first few times we had a heavy freeze I was mystified by the diamonds pushing their way up through the earth. Then I realized what it was and have enjoyed the visual every time a good deep freeze occurs.

Congrats on the egg production. My ladies have been very generous also. Especially Miss Flame who has laid pretty much daily since January since she turned 5 months.

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Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - Wait. You get diamonds coming up through the soil? All we get is ooey-gooey MUD! ;o]

Your Miss Flame continues to be a special gal. May she present you with many little Flames in the future!

wisps of words - I guess I've just been lucky lately as that stupidity seems to be showing up a lot!

Lynne said...

Papa Pea and you have to travel A bit to get to where you have to go, like I do. Some times it can be a pain. Never use to bother me, but as I get older it does. Haven't figured that one out yet. It's wonderful your getting all those eggs every day. Eggs around here have gone up in price! ugh!

Sam I Am...... said...

You have a pond too? What a perfect homestead you have! Have you always lived there? I'm glad you said Spring is early there because I thought it was darn early here for sure. I know it was the coldest winter since I've been down here with very little sunshine. Glad the hens are laying....that's awesome! The city won't let us have hens curbs or street lights but God forbid you have hens! LOL!

Cockeyed Jo said...

Told ya so.HAHAHA Cockeyed Jo

Mama Pea said...

Lynne - Gosh, I haven't purchased a store bought egg in so long I really don't know what they're going for these days.

When my folks used to come up here to visit, my dad always remarked that we had to drive so darn far to get anywhere! 'Tis true in a sparsely populated very large county.

Sam I Am - We moved up here from Illinois in 1973 and this is the second piece of land we've lived on in this area. When we bought this piece, the driveway came straight through where the pond now is and ended in a heavily graveled parking lot for large trucks where my raised beds and field garden are now. Took a lot of work, but we've managed to get things pretty much how we want them now after 20+ years!

Cockeyed Jo - Some people have a warped sense of humor. ;o}

wyomingheart said...

It's so wonderful to see the critters out and about after the winter freeze! Hope your snow makes way for more sunshine soon! Happy chickens for sure!

Mama Pea said...

wyomingheart - I think animals definitely "feel" spring even more than we do. Probably because they don't have the enjoyable/interesting things to do over winter that we humans do!

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) Nice to see your flock! :) Oh the raised beds...they always look so neat no matter what the season! I'm not fond of this time of year either. We still have way too much snow, but it's melting oddly...I still can't see out the front windows, yet the driveway is becoming quick sand again...walking the dogs is a good part of this season, but my gosh they get SO DIRTY!!!! I have a bucket of hot water with a face cloth and towel sitting on the porch before I leave each time I walk them!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Yes, that's the other bad part of mud season . . . all those mucky-muddy paws that need to be cleaned. A friend of ours has a Chocolate Lab and she trained her so that when B says, "Paws!" the dog rolls onto her back with all four feet stuck up in the air. If/when we get another dog, I'm going to try that training for sure.

Rain said...

Wow that's pretty cool!!!

Goatldi said...

We get diamonds of frost breaking throug the frozen ground. As it warms up we too are gifted with mud😂

Lisa said...

Spring..... not especially my favorite time of year either as we are covered in pollen down here. Our woodlands are mostly oaks and its ridiculous how much pollen is produced. It sort of ruins the whole green grass, pretty flowers a bit when one can't breathe. Anyway.... your place is pretty even in its transition period. And I couldn't help but smile at how happy your flock must be to be out and about scratching to their hearts content!! :)

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Isn't it though?

Goatldi - Seeing those "diamonds" of frost breaking through must be pretty cool!

Lisa - Yesterday one of our lady ducks found just enough open water in the pond to take one long, luxurious, full "bath" in the water. Think how good that must have felt after the winter of not having a bath!

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