There is something so energizing about spring mornings.
After months of silence, our farm is alive with the sound of birdsong. All around us are the songs of sparrows, bluebirds, woodpeckers, wrens, and so many more... a list too long to write. And although the early morning temperatures still echo winter, it doesn't take long before the sun warms us. As each hour passes, I shed another layer of clothing... until, finally, by afternoon, I am in a shirt and jeans. By the end of each winter, I so look forward to working around the farm without so many heavy layers on. After months and months, I am finally liberated!
We walk the horses up to the upper pastures where they run and buck and kick for the first five minutes before settling down to graze on the dry, leftover winter grass. It won't be long until the pastures burst forth in shades of electric green - at which point the liberal grazing time will come to an end.
Yesterday was an exceptionally beautiful day. I rose early and did the laundry - it was the perfect day to hang it out to dry. After being away for four days, doing morning chores was a treat. It's good to be back in the routine again. All is right with my world when I can care for our animals and tend to our little corner of the earth.
Now that the snow is gone and small rodents are out and about, we let the ducks and chickens out to free range. Hopefully the hawks will have gotten their fill of mice and rats and other small mammals - and take poultry off of their menu.
I took a little time to clean up the greenhouse. The winter kale is getting quite large. It will see us through until new kale grows in the garden.
I planted some flower seeds in the greenhouse.
And sowed sugar peas and radish seeds directly into the garden. This year I am trying my hardest to not disturb the soil beneath the surface. No digging or tilling will be done. I will just slip seeds and seedlings into the soil while disturbing it as little as possible. I have read that the soil is much healthier when it is undisturbed.
And though this looks like just a box full of soil and compost - in a few short weeks it will be bursting with plant life. And then a few weeks after that... edible produce!
My garden work was a delight to my senses - feeling the cool of the soil and smelling the freshness of the air... all the while, being serenaded by one of our resident pair of mockingbirds. Each summer, they build a nest in the wisteria vine that grows on the upper fence of the garden. And though they are quite noisy, I find a certain comfort in their repeated copycat songs.
By late morning, it was time to walk the horses back to their dry lot.
Moonie has become quite relaxed in this process and doesn't seem to mind what side I walk on. He's secure in his little world here on the farm - and that makes my heart happy.
Next on my list was cleaning manure from the pastures. As I drove the gator through the front pasture, I noticed that Moonie had lost his sun visor.
I am vigilant about him wearing eye protection during daylight hours to protect his remaining eye from UV light. It only took a little searching to find he had slipped his mask in the corner of the donkey yard.
After giving him a gentle verbal reprimand, I put his mask in place... and followed it with a neck snuggle.
He stood oh-so still as I pressed my nose into his neck and inhaled deeply. You see, there is nothing I love to smell more than my horses. I don't know why, but I am guessing that if you, too, have horses - you completely understand.
Everyone settled in for a nap and I continued on with pasture cleaning.
Of course, while out in the front pasture, I was greeted by two very happy pigs... happy that the snow is finally melted - giving them the ability to roam the pasture once again.
MaryAnn came right over, as she always does, and assumed the position...
While MaryAnn was getting her favorite belly rub,
Ginger was busy scratching herself on the gator tire. It's something she does every time she sees the gator. They are both creatures of habit!
Years ago, at a public auction, I scored a large box of teardrop chandelier crystals for pennies. If you have visited us for a long time, you might remember that I used them to decorate the gazebo for Amanda's wedding. Yesterday I began to hang them from the trees around Maven Haven. They will add a touch of whimsy to that space instead of sitting in the greenhouse collecting dust.