Friday, April 02, 2010

Fire and Wind and the Busyness of Spring

The weather is so dry here that it is scary.   I think of how the snow melted in just two days and the usual "mud" season never happened.  I'm told that this is the warmest March in 15 years.  We usually have snow at least early every morning till the middle of May.  I expect that unless the weather cools down considerably, I will have to dump the majority of my collected maple sap because I will not be able to boil it all down before it spoils.  So far we have made 6 quarts of syrup and I've lost about 75 gallons of sap to a leak in one container.  Yesterday afternoon my window thermometer reached 78F.  Didn't notice what the temperature went up to today, but it was very warm.  Because we have so much sap to boil down, Tom and I went ahead and started a fire in the fire pit this morning.  (I've been boiling down sap inside the house because of the weather and being so busy.) We had water and tools at the ready for any signs of trouble.  We kept the fire low, and even so we were able to boil down about 7 gallons of sap. 

This afternoon my sister called and asked about a big grass fire.  The way she described it, the fire was right next door to us.  I told her I didn't know what she was talking about.  She said there was a bad grass fire over by Camp One that took 3 hours to put out.  We were outside all day.  I told her we saw no fire trucks, heard no sirens, smelled or saw no smoke but that from our syrup fire, and didn't know what she was talking about.  Guess we'll have to take a ride over by Camp One tomorrow and see if anything happened.  I don't know what to make of it.  I remember last May when there was the forest fire that was close to us that was caused by a downed electrical line.  That was really scary!  I am adamant about fire safety and work diligently to enlarge our fire safe zone every year around the house.   The Weather Channel is predicting rain moving into our area for the next couple of days.  Let's hope it is a good rain.  I wish we could take some of the deluge from the people out East to ease some of their suffering with floods.  Well, all any of us can do is the best that we can do.

Late this afternoon a front moved in and dropped a little rain -- just enough to wet the ground and let you know that it did rain.  But the temperatures have dropped some and for that I'm grateful.  The power has blinked off and on a couple of times due I suppose to the high winds.  I keep expecting trees to start snapping like toothpicks.  When I hear the wind roar though the trees that's too windy for me and I keep a sharp eye out for falling branches.

The fox is still after the chickens but so far he hasn't gotten any!

This week I've been working on Dad's birthday sweater (yeah, he's going to get it late!) and starting seeds.  I planted a whole flat of Rutgers tomatoes and dandelions, celery, cumin, cilantro, Italian parsley, and arnica montana.  The leeks, cabbages, and other herbs that I planted at the last new moon are all doing well.  With the warm temperatures my seed potatos are sprouting like crazy but it will be a month and a half yet before I can safely plant them, so there's no telling what I'll wind up planting as far as potatos go.  I worked on the garden beds by stirring the top crust, watered everything well and covered each of the beds with new Agribon 19.  Hopefully that will keep the chickens out of the beds.  Then I bought some fabric from Hancock of Paducah to make some nice head scarves to sell at the farmers market.  If I like the way they turn out, I'll buy some good muslin and make some good men's handkerchiefs.

I have to tell you that I think my computer is getting ready to die.  I've been getting the blue screen of death every so often.  I hope I can get a portable hard drive and copy everything to it before it dies, so if I disappear for a while, that's probably the culprit.  Let's keep our fingers crossed.  And since the computer is making odd noises and being very slow, I think I'll end this post and talk to you another time! 

Happy Easter to everyone!

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