February may have turned into March in a grey and gloomy haze, but the wild birds heralded the change of month with a jubilant fanfare.
As I worked around the barn yesterday morning in the drizzle, I couldn't help but notice the amount of birds who were chirping and singing. It was a symphony that I know all too well... but haven't heard in months.
I've got to say : I love March. Not only is it a big birthday month in our family. (Hubbs' birthday is today... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! to my very best friend and partner in life!
What I love about March is the fact that no matter what befalls us during this month - by the end of the month Spring arrives and the first trees, the willows, begin to show some green. With any luck we will be treated to spring bulbs emerging and blooming around the same time. And then new life and growth begin to cascade - with something new to see every single day!
March is the light at the end of Winter's long, dark tunnel. It rewards our patience and fills us with anticipation.
I've got to admit - we've had snow on the ground (at least in some spots on the farm) since before Christmas.
The orchard and sheep yard, on a northern slope, are still quite wintry.
In areas where the sun shines brightly, the snow has become water and is turning the earth to mud. It's truly a welcomed sight to see the soil and grass begin to emerge.
And where the sunlight shines, green emerges. In the spring that runs out from the old log cabin's cellar, there are plants and algae that are busy making chlorophyl. By afternoon, yesterday, the sun shone brightly... electrifying the green.
Green is the color I most long for during the monochromatic winter months. It's the color that fills me with energy. By the end of the month I will immerse myself in all things green and growing.
By the way, the greenhouse kale is still going strong. I can hardly wait for kale to be back in the garden. With the snow melted from the boxes, I will soon be able to plant cold weather vegetables.
This week's color is brown, however - mud brown. And most of our critters have become muddy buddies.
As I stand next to the duck pen, in the donkey yard picking up manure, I can hear the runner ducks' little webbed feet slapping the muddy ground as they run back and forth inside their yard.
They were given the freedom to roam this weekend, after weeks of being sequestered in their yard due to snow. Our neighbors texted us, however, to tell us that a hawk had been trying to "abduckt" one of them. As a result, they are once again on yard arrest.
Once all of the snow is gone, they will have more places to hide and will be given their freedom again.
After finishing afternoon chores, I ran the manure buckets up to the compost pile and was amazed to see it covered with insects. By this time of year, the compost pile desperately needs to be turned, however getting a tractor back through the mud is impossible. That task will have to wait.
The chickens, ducks and guineas will be happy to see the insects. They'll need to get busy and eat those buggy pests before they have a chance to multiply!
I am going to try to add to our guinea flock this summer. Guineas are one of our best defenses against insects. I want to add youngsters while I still have some elders to help teach them. Guineas are impossible to train, however, they do stick together. So, having a couple "smart" elders is a great help in keeping youngsters from going AWOL!!
The goats are the only animals who are high and dry right now.
Each day when I feed the goats, Sally likes to nibble the chow right out of the scoop. Apparently it tastes better here than out of her bowl.
Each of our animals has its own funny quirks. It's one of the things that I enjoy about this farm life. There are so many little things that make me smile each day.
Life really is quite wondrous!