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 –
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.
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.
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.
It’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.
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.
and a Little Thing Called Mud
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?