Category Archives: spring

Moving Day and More

Hello and welcome!

Tuesday afternoon the sun came out and the weather warmed up. It was a good day to move the chicks to the farm.

My husband had set up this small, temporary enclosure near the coop. The sides are made with 24-inch chicken wire to keep the chicks in and then netting is put over the top to keep overhead predators out.

He gave them food and water and left the crate in case they needed shelter.

They seemed happy.

He also sectioned off a small area inside the coop for them to spend their nights. (I didn’t get a picture of that.)

Ranger (on the other side of the pen) was quite curious about them. I’m sure he still does not realize that these critters will grow into chickens like the ones that roam around the farm. After being told to leave the babies alone and that he could not get in their enclosure he decided to move on.

He knew there was a rabbit hiding in the rock pile, so he spent a lot of the afternoon trying to flush that bunny.

You should see how fast that tail is wagging.

Despite his best efforts the rabbit stayed put.

The cabbage seedlings that my husband started a few weeks back are doing well. Since it’s too early for planting we put them in bigger pots and then put them in the small hoop house my husband set up (sorry I didn’t get a picture of the hoop house).

Other seedlings were started a bit later than the cabbage but are most, if not all, have sprouted.

They include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, parsley, petunias and believe it or not stinging nettle. I have been trying to establish a stinging nettle bed for some years now but for some reason the few plants I have do not spread. This year I purchased some seed and will start a bed in a new location. If you think I’ve lost my mind you can check out this article which explains both the nutritional and medicinal benefits of nettle. They are a very healthy herb.

These seedlings will remain in the house for a while yet while they continue to grow and temperatures continue to warm up.

I did a bit of clean up in the prayer garden on Tuesday. Our daffodils and other flowers are taking their time. No flowers yet, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. We often get late spring frosts and freezes which can be detrimental to anything that flowers early.

While I am awaiting the first blooms of spring, I am thrilled that the geranium that I over-wintered in my living room has begun to blossom.

Its bright pink flowers make me smile.

Thanks for visiting.

Spring Has Sprung

According to the calendar spring officially arrived today and the weather today was very spring-like. So, what’s a girl to do to celebrate the arrival of her favorite season? For this girl the answer is get her hands in the dirt.

Here in Michigan the ground is still partially frozen and the part that is not frozen is mud, so getting into the garden is out of the question. However, several weeks ago I planted some Johhny Jump Up seeds in small peat pots. (Johnny Jump Ups are also known as wild pansy.) My husband has been nurturing the little seedlings – making sure they have enough water and light.

Today I decided to transplant some of them into pots.

We’re hopeful that they are hardy enough to survive the cool/cold (early)spring temperatures, but I didn’t plant them all so if we lose some, I can replace them.

I also set out our bulb pots. These are some pots that I had planted daffodils and tulips in last year. When the foliage died back and the soil dried up we stored the pots, with the soil and bulbs still in them, in the barn for the winter. When my husband brought them out of the barn last week some of the bulbs were already beginning to sprout.

I set the pots in place beside the deck and will let nature takes it course.

I can’t wait to see spring flowers.🌷

Have you seen any spring flowers?

Have you or will you be planting any flowers?

Asparagus, Daffodils and More

It’s an early spring here in Michigan. This week my husband noticed asparagus shoots popping up. I didn’t get any photos of it but I wanted to give a heads up to anyone living in our area who grows asparagus or hunts wild asparagus to watch for it. As I looked back over previous posts I noticed that in the past few years our asparagus has started coming around the last week of April or the first week in May so it’s two to three weeks early this year. I didn’t want anyone to miss out.

I did, however, get lots of photos of daffodils and some others things that are blossoming.

There is so much to love about daffodils.

They are a reliable, low maintenance, perennial.

They will grow in full sun

or wooded, wet, shady areas.

An early bloomer, they come in a variety of shades that say “Welcome to Spring”.

They also vary in size.

They continue to multiply each year so eventually they may need to be thinned by digging some up. The best time to dig the bulbs is in the fall. They can then be transplanted or given to friends.

They grow in harmony with other plants so keeping the area weed free is not really necessary.

We didn’t wait until fall to transplant these. Instead we dug them with a good size root ball (keeping the soil surrounding the roots/bulbs intact). We then dug a hole large enough for the entire root ball, placed the plant in the soil and filled in around it. You can see they brought some of their companions (mayapples) along with them.

Last but not least they top the list of being deer and rabbit resistant.

It’s kind of hidden amongst other plants but my primrose has more blossoms this year than it has since I first planted it. I am so happy with it that yesterday I picked up two more of these plants (one with purple blossoms and one with yellow) to keep this one company. (I should not be trusted in a store that sells garden plants. LOL!)

The forsythia have been in full boom for over a week now. It seems they are much earlier than last year because when I looked back through my photos my album from April 20, 2020 has photos of them beginning to blossom.

They create an impressive array as the backdrop for the pond. From a distance neighbors and passers-by enjoy the blast of color amidst the greens and browns that monopolize the landscape this time of year.

But walking along the berm surrounded by these brilliant yellow blossoms is an experience to behold. It felt like a natural high with my husband using the term uplifting to describe it while I found it breathtaking.

The cherry tree next to our deck began blossoming the week and while it’s delightful to see it is way too early. With snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast for next week we can expect a less than optimal cherry crop this year. I’m not ready to write it off completely though. I will hold out hope for a least one homemade cherry pie or crisp. πŸ™‚

Thanks for visiting. What’s blooming in your area?

Our Peaceable Kingdom

Visitors to our farm often talk about how peaceful it is there and my husband often refers to it as ‘Our Peaceable Kingdom’. You might see that in some of the following pictures.

Peanut, the cat, likes to hang out with the chickens. The chickens have gotten use to him and have learned that he is not a threat.

We had one hen who was old and crippled but the others did not pick or peck on her. She needed some extra assistance but continued to live with the rest of the flock. (she died last week 😦 )

The chickens have also gotten used to Ranger. He shares their food and they share his as well. Ranger and the chickens will be happy to clean up Peanut’s plate when he is finished.

We lost all of our bees again this winter but honey bees were showing up from somewhere to forage honey and wax that was left in our hives. There may be wild bees in our area or other bee keepers whose bees survived the winter or there there may be both.

Early spring, before the trees leaf out and flowers bloom, can be a bit dull looking, but it can also be a time of discovery. Last summer this nest was hidden amongst the leaves and we never even realized it was there.

I wonder who came out of this cocoon.

We did get some much needed rain but the U.S. drought monitor map continues to show our area as abnormally dry.

The North-West corner of the farm is always very wet in the spring and it is where the frogs/toads hang out this time of year. Even though I didn’t see any I’m sure they were there because they quieted down as I approached.

Yes, I do walk through all that water, but not without appropriate footwear.

Normally this time of year the pond is overflowing it’s banks and there is very little beach sand that is not under water. The lighter area along the edge shows how much the water level rose after the last rain. The dark areas are leaves that have collected along the shoreline. We will eventually rake them out of the beach area but since my husband spotted an egg nest (likely frog or toad) we will wait awhile to give them a chance to hatch.

Even though it has been mostly dry we have had lots of wind. When I took the picture above I could not see the individual blades on the windmill because it was spinning so fast. The camera, however, was quick enough to partially capture them.

When the pond is bubbling like this we know the windmill is turning. One of it’s purposes is to aerate the pond.

There were no babies rocking on the tree tops but I was still a bit concerned that the bough(s) might break. The branches in the foreground are maple and the ones toward the rear are poplar. As you can see both are budding.

The wind was really rocking these spruce trees. Good thing they have strong roots.

Momma oak is likely the oldest tree on our property. She is surrounded buy her offspring. She does not waver.

Nor does our eldest shagbark hickory. I often ponder the stories of these two trees. How long have they lived there? If they could talk what stories would they tell?

Sadly our oldest crab apple tree became the target of a wood pecker. I wonder how long she can survive these wounds.

I learned something about my crocuses this year. Last year I only had three or four come up.

This spring I had more come up in a different area. I was thrilled to see them but wondered why they came up this year and not last year.

The day after I noticed and photographed them the blossoms were gone. Apparently eaten by a hungry bunny. (I can’t blame the deer this time because there were no deer tracks in the wet soil where they were growing.)

I now suspect these crocuses did come up last year but became bunny food before I ever noticed them.

I will now reconsider my plans to plant more crocuses.

I also learned that this beautiful little primrose bears some of the first blossoms of the season – but only if the chickens leave it alone.

It was even earlier than the daffodils that were just beginning to open as I took these photos last week.

We have more and more daffodils blossoming each day so I will likely share more pictures in an upcoming post. Why so many daffodils? Because the deer, bunnies and chickens leave them alone.

Last but not least the garlic is up and off to a good start. πŸ™‚

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

Colors of Spring

Each year the first color we see in the spring is yellow.

Then as spring progresses and the yellow flowers fade away we see a lot of purple.

When we landscaped the berm that boarders our pond we planted forsythia bushes alternated with lilacs. Once the forsythia is finished blossoming the lilacs begin. On a breezy day the lilac fragrance fills the air.

The lush green of the trees evokes a feeling of peace and harmony.

The daffodils that ushered in spring have been replaced by Iris’s, chive blossoms and salvia.

The dandelion blossoms turned to puff balls that were scattered by the wind. They have been replaced by white clover that will offer the bees a bountiful food source throughout the summer.

These are but a few of the delightful changes I have observed in the past week.

Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

Do you have a favorite spring flower?