We have been making little discoveries all over the acreage, now that the snow is gone and things are starting to leaf out. We’ve found wild strawberries, wild roses, peonies in a random patch of tall grass by the (crab?) apple tree, raspberries, and what looks like an elderberry bush. Hubby stumbled across an old rhubarb patch, right in the middle of a truck track behind one of the sheds. There are a few other odd plants that I will have to identify – one of them might even be horseradish. Of course, there are also a ton of what look like little stinging nettles – they are too little to tell if they are nettles or wild mint, just yet, and I have no interest in finding out the hard way.
There have also been swarms of bumblebees and hordes of little wood frogs. Today, we saw hummingbirds for the first time, and also caught a glimpse of the woodpecker that we have been hearing for ages, but had not seen. There were magpies squawking and swallows swooping. We heard a bird song that sounded like all the world like a ringing phone, though it went on long past when the machine would have picked up, and was in the wrong direction, anyhow. There are these little rodents, that look like squirrels but act like gophers, which we have been watching for a couple of weeks. We also saw one of the bunnies on the lane while we were eating dinner. This place is suddenly crawling (and sprouting and hopping and flapping) with life. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes are out in swarms, also, but it’s a small price to pay to have the rest of it.
Hubby is determined to take pictures of all of the birds here in our area, so we hung up a hummingbird feeder, as we doubted we would ever get one to stay still for the camera, otherwise. So far, there have been two ruby-throated hummingbirds visiting, and hopefully we will see lots of them, as we hung the feeder just outside the kitchen window, where we can watch it while we eat. Of course, as soon as Hubby set the camera down, one flew right up to the window and tapped on it with his little beak. I laughed!
In other news, the garden is coming along, albeit more slowly than we would like, with me being so creaky and all. We’ve gotten the potatoes in, now, and also some radishes, parsnips, kale, chard, spinach, golden beets, lettuce, and broccoli. We are going to try adding another quarter – row every week or two, to have a fresh supply through the summer. That’s the theory, anyhow – we’ll see how fast we run out of room and / or patience. We’ll make a big planting of the storage crops (beets, turnips, carrots, and such) later in the summer, so that they mature right around first frost.
Hubby found an old compost pile from some former residents, and hauled a few wheelbarrow loads over to my front flowerbed, which I decided to plant in tomatoes and peppers, instead. It seemed like a great place for them, as it is sunny, protected, and close enough to the bathroom to lug buckets of used bathwater (“greywater”) out to water them with – the bed is right out the front door. It is still a little early, but Hubby has been hauling the plants in and out every day to harden them off, and the weather has been fine, with a forecast for more of the same, so hopefully they won’t get too chilled at night. We put in eight tomatoes, four hot peppers, and four sweet peppers – we started more, but they would not all fit. While I was at it, I planted some little potentilla bushes that I bought on a whim, and some tulips and daffodils that were given to us by a friend who neglected to plant them last fall. I tucked some herbs in between the bigger plants – parsley, basil, oregano, chives, and some garlic cloves that I just tucked in here and there. That should be an entertaining “flower” bed, for sure!
We likely will have to put the rest of the garden on hold, now, as we have family coming in for a visit over the weekend. If the kids get too bored with our lack of a television, we’ll set them to work planting beans and corn, but otherwise it’ll just have to wait until Monday…
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