Welcome Spring

This post is dedicated to my friend and fellow blogger Linda who blogs at Walkin’, Writin’ Wit and Whimsy. Linda, who takes readers along as she walks at various parks in South East Michigan and introduces us to the furry and feathered friends she meets along the way, has been as eager as I have for the arrival of spring. On occasion her posts reference classic songs – oldies but goodies –  leaving me with an ear worm for the day. As we welcome spring, Linda, I thought I’d return the favor.

So let me tell ya ’bout the –

BIRDS

Sunday morning as I walked out the door on my way to open up the chicken coop for the day I was greeted by the song of a robin. It is a sound I have become quite familiar with over the past few years as each spring a robin nests in the maple tree outside our bedroom window. He or she starts singing each morning long before the sun comes up, (sometimes as early as 3:30 a.m.) and long before my husband and I are ready to awaken. If the early bird catches the worm then this is one well fed robin.

In Michigan it is said that robins are a sure sign of spring but the truth is that some robins stay in Michigan throughout the winter. Robins that migrate south for the winter are doing so because of the limited food supply available this time of year, not because of the cold temperatures. During the winter those that stay will eat fruit and berries that are left on the trees/bushes.

As I arrived at the farm to open the chicken coop two robins flew swiftly past me. 🙂

Red winged black birds are also said to be a sign of spring.

 

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I spotted this one as Trooper and I walked the back field yesterday.

Our hens have been enjoying the weather and egg laying has increased – we are now averaging about 12 eggs a day from our 23 hens.

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Spring is also the time of year when baby chicks show up in the farm stores. Each year that I have been blogging I have shown pictures of adorable little chicks that will be raised on our farm. Thus far we have only raised egg layer but this year is a little different. These will not be laying hens.

IMG_4799It’s ok to say “awe, they’re cute” – just don’t get attached because they won’t be with us long. (That note is as much for me as it is for you).

and the BEES
Several days last week temperatures warmed enough for the bees to come out for a cleansing flight. We had just one hive going into winter and were relieved to see that they are still alive. It is not warm enough to open the hive yet and since nothing is in bloom they are still dependent on their winter food stores.

and the FLOWERS

Even more promising than seeing robins were the daffodils that have begun to emerge from their winter sleep.

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Soon we will be seeing their smiling yellow blossoms at various places throughout the farm. 🙂

and the TREES:

We decided not to make maple syrup this year but if  you are interested in how we do that you can check out my posts from previous syrup seasons 2018, 2017 , 2016 and 2016. Based on temperatures that we have had last week and this week I suspect that had we tapped our trees this year we would be cooking syrup this week.

In the past few years it has been my observation that the first trees to bud in our area are the poplar trees. Their flowers, that actually look more like caterpillars, provide resin that is collected by honey bees and used to make propolis.

The maples seem to bud out next and while this triggers the end of the syrup season it is good for the bees as the flowers of the maple trees seem to be their first source of food in the spring.

and the Moon Up Above

Last night my husband mentioned that the moon was close to being full. This morning, before daybreak, the sky was clear and the moon was bright. This year spring is being ushered in by the full moon.

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and a Little Thing Called Mud

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As the snow melts and the ground thaws there is no avoiding it. When you live in the country mud is more than a “little thing”. Water + dirt = MUD. Lots of mud. You learn to deal with it. For us that means wearing a pair of rubber boots and rinsing off our boots and the boys paws with a garden hose before we go into the house.

Over the past 8 years we have learned that starting the year with this kind of moisture in the ground is more of a benefit than a nuisance. By mid June we often find ourselves in a dry spell and are using the pond water to keep our gardens alive.

 

If there is one this that is certain about spring in Michigan it is that the weather is extremely uncertain. Currently our day time temperatures are getting above freezing while the nights drop back below freezing. Today as I look at the 10 day forecast it shows that trend will continue for about the next week. Tomorrow when I look at the forecast that might change. It’s not surprising to have snow storms and freezing temperatures well into April and even May. On the other hand summer weather might show up at anytime and be here to stay. For better or worse the calendar says spring is here.

WELCOME SPRING! (Happy Dance 🙂 )

What is your favorite season?

 

 

 

 

49 thoughts on “Welcome Spring

    1. I hope you are having a beautiful spring Carol Anne! Our spring is certainly acting as the transition season that it is – we are now having cooler than normal temps and rainy weather with possibly some snow in the mix tonight. Winter still wanting to hang on a little.

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  1. We’ve just arrived just south of you on the Indiana/Michigan line. It snowed today…! I do love spring. Mud and all.

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    1. Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. We got about an inch of snow over night as well. I guess March is going out like a lion but if this weeks forecast is any indication we should be enjoying more spring-like weather this week. 🙂

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  2. Awww love that you dedicated this to Linda! She embraces nature so beautifully!

    Thank you for sharing your slice of nature, Ruth!! This was so much fun to read. What a wonderful ode of a post to Spring’s beginning. I hope the weather continues to be nice for you 🙂

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    1. Thanks Mackenzie. So glad you enjoyed this. It’s quite chilly here today but I can’t complain about the beautiful blue sky and sunshine. Looking forward to getting some outdoor spring cleanup done later this week (when it’s a little warmer). 🙂

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      1. Funny–it wakes me up and then I have the wonderful sensation of it incorporating into my dreams as I fall back asleep. I never hear birds during the week in the city so it’s an extra-special treat for me when I’m home:-)

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  3. I think your personality is coming out more and more in these posts. That’s great.
    This was a nicely structured, interesting post.
    As a kid, my favorite season used to be winter. However, as I started growing up, I learned to appreciate the awakening (spring). It really is a beautiful time of year. I do like summer, nowadays.

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    1. Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 I really started enjoying spring after I left my job and started spending more time outside. Now I enjoy observing as the world awakens. It’s kind of magical. I love summer too.

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  4. This was a great refreshing post Ruth. England currently has been in spring for three weeks now, doesn’t always feel like it admittedly, still some very cold nights ……..and days for that matter. But the Daffs have made their appearance and looking into the garden now can still see we have some hearty looking plants smiling \away as they do.

    the birds are somewhat livlier, but what l have noticed more activity from this particular spring has been the frogs, it’s almost been a nightly chorus out there most evenings and every time l go out, the night air is still, no lights from houses can be seen and yet, this … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcDVH8DiBnM of a sorts greets me 🙂

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    1. Thank you Rory. It’s still quite chilly here but I noticed yesterday that some of my herbs are starting the green up (thyme, sage and chives).
      Frogs and toads are one of my favorite parts of spring and summer. I am eagerly awaiting their song. We have several different types of frogs that live on our farm and in our pond. At night it is relaxing to sit around the campfire and listen to them sing. It can be like a symphony with the tree frogs and their high pitched chips and bull frogs singing bass.
      One year we witness toad mating day. We noticed the toads we especially noisy that day a followed the sound to the pond where we discovered hundreds of toads having an orgy. Apparently they we spreading the word that this was where the party was. LOL It was really a site to see.

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  5. If the seasons were equal, I’d be prepared to like Spring as much as any of the others. As it is, Spring can last three weeks or three days. To me, it’s a transition season that ushers in two things I don’t like — heat and humidity.

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    1. It does often seem like Spring is too short. Either winter hangs on longer then it should or summer arrives too quickly. I would love to have a full three months of transition between the two.

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  6. Ah Ruth – that was so kind of you to dedicate this “Happy First Day of Spring” post to me – I am touched and you are right about both of us hankering after Spring weather.

    We will never hang our hat on the long-range predictions of the weatherman again, because back in late Summer/early Fall, we were promised an El Nino Winter and instead, we got a rude awakening. We thought we getting off easily after all the snow last year but even my area had a hard freeze in late September, causing me to scurry into the garage with the hoses and shut off the taps. My poor roses bushes were covered in snow before I could prune them down! I just responded to your comment on my own “Happy First Day of Spring” blog that you should enjoy the daffodils as I recalled you mentioning them a few weeks ago.

    I love how clever you were with that song which I remember well – your comment referenced “earworm” and I thought you meant my featured song, which I don’t think is as much a classic as yours. The mud is just incredible- good thing you and the boys are adaptable. I was just looking at pictures on a fellow blogger’s post about flooding in Nebraska. The weather is wacky across the country and it is worrisome to me to be honest.

    I have to admit, I could not live with those chicks and not get attached to them – so good luck with that! My mom would tell me they’d go to visit her grandfather’s farm when she was a young girl and he would get mad at her and her cousins for getting attached to the livestock, but who cannot become attached to any living thing, especially when they are are so young. Happy Spring to you dear Ruth!

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    1. As that post starting coming together and that song came to mind I though of you. It just fit.

      When I see the devastating weather events that other parts of the country are dealing with – flooding, fires, tornados, hurricanes, I can’t help to think how blessed we are. Our weather has been very mild compared to so many.

      It is hard not to get attached to those chicks. We have intended on raising meat chickens in the past but have gotten attached and they have become laying hens. The breed that we bought this year won’t make good laying hens. They are bread specifically to become meat birds. We have not been handling as much as we usually do either. Since we eat chicken it doesn’t make since to buy it from the grocery store when we can grow a much healthier product. We just have to get the right mindset.

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      1. I really liked this post and thank you for doing this Ruth – it made me feel special. I feel the same way you do about the weather across the country, even around the world – it was an easy Winter for us snow-wise, and it has been the brutal cold and wind that was the story. I was really apprehensive about last Thursday’s weather and they said the southern part of the state could experience tornadic conditions. It had me on edge all day. The widespread devastation is just shocking and I had hoped the erratic weather swings that began the Fall of 2017 and lasted through 2018 were just a fluke … but it looks as if it is the new norm. I can remember December 2017 … in a light jacket on December 3rd, a few day’s later shoveling during a big snowstorm.

        I think it will be difficult not to get attached to the chicks … if you do, perhaps you have to sell them to a farmer who will use them in the manner intended, thus sparing you the agony.
        My mom would tell me they befriended the chickens as I mentioned before, and her grandfather was very cruel and would grab them and I’ll spare you the details … they became Sunday night dinner and he made the kids watch. Kids will never forget that and were traumatized for many years. I never knew that man –
        happy to say that. I guess it is no different than looking into the gentle eyes of a cow before loading them into a cattle car and leading them to slaughter … I’m too soft hearted and suspect you are the same as me.

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      2. You are special Linda.
        When I was young my dad was a hunter and I remember him shooting pheasants and rabbits and we would eat the meat for dinner. (watch out for BB’s. LOL) I never thought anything of it because that was the norm. Nowadays we, as a society, have gotten very far removed from our food supply. We don’t know where it comes from or how it is grown but the methods used in mass produced foods (factory farming) make me cringe.
        I will be happy that we will be able to eat chicken that was raised in a healthy environment. We will not be doing our own butchering though so that will make it easier.

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      3. Thank you Ruth – you are very kind. I am glad you don’t have to do the butchering. We got a new neighbor, about twenty years ago, and he was from the South. The corner of his backyard touched my next-door neighbor, Jim’s backyard and they often chatted over the fence. Jim was from Kentucky. They got to be good friends and Jim was a hunter and had a piece of land in Roscommon where he had a small trailer and he went deer hunting during firearms season – that’s all he hunted. This new neighbor told Jim that he missed his squirrel pie that he had all the time “back home” so he started shooting the squirrels with BB guns. He also liked pigeon pie. When he passed away from a heart attack, we started building up our squirrel and pigeon population again.

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