Friday, March 23, 2012

What's New at the Farm? Spring Arrives in Force

Is spring really here?

The 22nd of March and it's 81 degrees in the shade; and it's been warm all week! I've been out in the yard and around the farm in shirt sleeves. The birds are coming back in droves, grass is showing green in the fields and the Coltsfoot is staring to bloom.

Early or just seems it? Early, I think. Last year the Coltsfoot was blossoming in earnest on the 20th of April. Ice out on the farm pond was yesterday the 22nd tying with 2008 and 2006.

With this warmer than usual weather, there's a few things I need to do sooner than later. It's possible that the swallows will be back shortly and will want their bird houses cleaned out in prep for new nests this year. Here's a bird house down by the pond that has stood the test of time for at least 10 or 12 years:

Yes, it's leaning quite badly but the birds don't seem to mind. It's nothing special just a pine bird house I turned out in my workshop during some cold winter evenings. The front is hinged to access for easy cleaning:

There’s the remnants of last year’s nest. Once that is removed I’ll close the front door, tighten up some nails and it’ll be ready for another season. I may even straighten  up the cedar post it's on.
Here’s a design I started using about 5 years ago:

This one has a bottom door that swings open for cleaning. I saw the first swallow just a few minutes ago when I was out taking these pics.

In the barnyard Ziggy is taking center stage, much like his wild counterparts:

And a handsome boy he is! Lots of guinea hens in the picture as well. You know what I always say about guineas – you can’t have too many.

And back to the farm, here’s a few shots of the first signs of spring. Here is new growth on overwintering onions:

Here’s spinach that overwintered in a caterpillar tunnel:

And finally here’s a shot of the farm activity this time of year. The tractors and equipment is being readied for use in the background and the grass is greening daily:

Even though it feels like planting season it’s not. It is a good time to clean out the flower beds and get things ready for the planting season, for before you know it it will be upon us and we’d better be ready.

Until next week, Brian

No comments: