Like many of you, spring has called me to do other things, mostly yard work. Initially, I tried to keep my pace on WordPress, but soon realized it was impossible, unless I wanted to forfeit sleep. (Not a good option!)
I’ve been trimming back perennials, raking gardens, clearing trails, pruning and transplanting. Happily, my spouse has been working along side of me, so it feels like we accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.
We suffered a fair amount of vole damage this year, girdling the bark from many bushes and young trees (which frustrates me no end). With the bitter cold weather, there was dieback to trim from some of the more tender hollies and azaleas. I try to tackle a few things every day, but I am not as driven as I used to be. Lots of things won’t get done, so I have to make peace with that.
I am happy that the daffodils are blooming and tulips are budding. The lawn is dotted in blue and white from naturalized puschkinia, chionodoxa and scilla. Soon it will be awash in a heavenly sea of white and purple violets, which hold a special place in my heart.
I’ve had a hard time this year adjusting to the reality that ticks are now everywhere I go, be it yard, garden, woods or field, and every bite brings the threat of Lyme disease. I, and two members of my family, were diagnosed with it last summer and I know now what an awful thing it is. Trying to put a positive spin on it is particularly challenging given how much time I spend outside. I feel I’ve been robbed of the carefree joy and bliss of gardening – something I really love. Acceptance is slow in coming, but I won’t stay inside hiding. I take precautions and try to stay alert. I’m not going down without a fight! Perhaps I’ll get a flock of guinea hens, which apparently eat ticks. To me, they look silly, like comical cartoon characters. If I do, I’ll have to figure out how to keep them from being eaten by predators, like coyotes and foxes. Sometimes, life can be so complicated!
We have had a wild hen turkey visiting our feeders recently. I wonder if she eats ticks?
She weighs at least twenty pounds, is quite healthy with beautiful plumage. Obviously, she found enough to eat all winter, but I wonder why she is alone? It is mating season and hopefully she will find a handsome tom and lay a nice clutch of eggs. In summer, I often see two or three hens foraging together with their broods in tow, like gangly teenagers, gleaning weed seeds and insects from the gardens and fields. They are entertaining to watch, very alert and good at escaping danger, dispersing at the first sign of threat in a burst of wings.
And for those who read my posts on Froggy Love, the results have hatched and now the pond has tiny tadpoles. The amorous adult Wood Frogs have returned to forage in the leaf litter.
They are very small and I am hoping the larger frogs won’t eat them before they get a chance to grow up.
So far, we have had only a couple of male Spring Peepers calling each evening trying to attract females to this small pond, many fewer courtiers than we had last year.
Another spring chore is getting our wood delivered, so it can be stacked in the woodshed to dry over the summer.
We order it early before the black flies hatch out, which can drive us crazy, and while it is still comfortably cool doing all that strenuous work. At the rate of four to six pieces per armload, it takes quite a few trips to make this pile disappear! This year I was lucky enough not to stack one single piece of it; my husband and son (yay!) stacked all four cords in two days. That beats our previous record by two days!
There is a lot of security in having a full woodshed – knowing we’ll be warm and cozy next winter. Even though autumn seems a long way off, and spring has barely begun, time has a way of passing much too quickly. We will be glad for the warmth this wood brings us when again the cold winds blow. Now that this chore is done, we are free to focus on all the joy that spring brings, like those red peony shoots I see rising through the mulch.