Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Loving Spring

Woke up this morning to snow on the ground. Brrr! This is the latest snowfall I've noted since we moved here. Still, it is Spring.

I love Spring. You know, that time of year when buds break on the hardwood trees in colors of new greens and reds, and the conifers sport bright new growth on branch tips. I liken the feathery silver sage on the tamaracks to slender ladies wearing gossamer gowns. Spring is that short time when the cricket frogs chirp in the marshes and the grouse drum on a just right fallen log out in the woods. The humming birds return to fight over red nectar filled feeders, and I listen for new bird songs at the forest edge. The fecund earth is soft from the frost coming out of it, and the wild cherries, hop hornbeam, and elderberry bushes are first to burst into flowery bloom.  I suck Spring into my lungs and want to shout for joy! Earth is new again.

I move slower now because of that dratted ankle I broke last year. I had to buy some different work shoes to accommodate my swollen foot and I am very happy with them. They are not heavy to wear and are very comfortable. The ankle has better support with them and walking around on uneven ground is much easier. Because I am slower, it takes me longer to get work done. I hate that, but I am not young any more and I understand that my reflexes are not as nimble as my mind. It's one reason I haven't had much time for blogging.

I have accomplished a lot though since my last post.  I finally finished boiling down maple sap and got just over a gallon of syrup from six trees. Not a lot, but enough for us and maybe a gift or two. (Dad already has his jar.)

I also made great progress continuing my quest to cut away brush in the fire zone around the house. But my biggest achievement so far is getting the hand pump installed on the house well.

A walk through the forest garden was full of surprises. The gooseberries and the hazelnut bushes look healthy and strong. The red and black currants look great and are loaded with flowers already, and I finally have flowers on one of the Chestnut Crabapple trees. Yeah! The bad news is that my best Haralson apple tree is dead from being completely girdled by mice, and another Smokehouse apple tree died, so I need to find two more apple trees to replace them.  Overall though, the plantings are really starting to take shape and I like the way the garden looks. I finally finished the trellis fence around the forest garden to my satisfaction. When the moon goes into the sign of Cancer I'll plant some hops to climb the new sections. There are grape vines, blackberries, and when the weather is warmer, Old Homestead pole beans, Scarlet Runner beans, and Grandpa Ott's morning glories to keep them company. The fence should look very nice this summer.

I built a herb garden from an old pallet and am transplanting herbs from my herb garden box into it. The soil in the garden box has settled down considerably and needs amending so it is nice to have a new place to put the herbs. The greenhouse is filled with veggies waiting to go in the ground, and this morning I started more seeds in the basement: melons, pole beans, cucumbers, pie pumpkins, sunflowers, and summer and winter squashes. The rest of the veggies will be direct planted outside. Now I need to get out to the field and till the ground for them. Can you tell gardening is on my mind?

How are things going for you in your neck of the woods?

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