Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring on the Farm


Spring is HERE! Finally!!! Things happen slower in North Dakota... we had 3 different blizzards (I think?) in March and April, so it wasn't until the end of April that things really started melting around here. Almost every day in spring something new happens- last week I saw 2 gorgeous  Magpies in my garden! They are not native to this area, but apparently they come through in the spring. I filled up my bird feeders and I have been enjoying all the little visitors that are constantly dining. My tube feeder was empty in less than a week, and it wasn't because it had spilled on the ground either. These birds are hungry! This morning I noticed the lilac bushes outside my window were covered in little green leaf buds. You can almost watch things grow here, it happens so fast! I bought 5 new rose bushes which are currently living in my kitchen window until it is safe to plant them outside. They are impatient to grow, they are thriving in my window! I have several rose buds already, and they are still living in their plastic wrapping.

I took Gus outside today to walk around the farm. He had a hard time walking on the uneven ground, but he seemed to really enjoy being outside. The farm animals are intriguing to him- the barn cats came and visited him, so did the goats, the bunny and a couple curious chickens. Gus loves the animals!!!

I am dying to get in my garden and clean it up and start planting! The big vegetable garden is a mess- it is amazing how quick the weeds come back and take over. My "Therapy Garden" is already starting to come back, I am hoping to spend some time this weekend pulling the weeds and planting new flowers and veggies. This year I want to build a small greenhouse and put up a picket fence. I can picture it in my mind- and I can't wait to make it a reality!! I have been dreaming about my garden allllll winter long and I am so happy the snow is gone and I can actually spend some time digging in the dirt! I have already started my seeds inside, and it took over 3 weeks for my peppers to finally arrive... I had just about given up hope- and there they were!

(tomatoes are in the first 2 sections, then the peppers are in the 3rd and then some lettuce in the last section on the right)

Our chicks are growing like weeds! We got 18 new chicks the day before Easter- and we have already moved them out to the chick nursery in the barn, where they have a lot more room! I miss their little cheeping in my dining room, but once they start growing, they don't last long inside. This year we got a mixture of 12 red and white pullets and 6 bantams. At least one of the bantams is a frizzle so far! (I love the frizzle chicks!)

I am happy to have so many new chicks after our winter epidemic. We lost about half our flock during the coldest part- one day they would be fine and the next day, gone. It was really sad. I think they must have caught some sort of virus or something and it had to run it's course. Luckily about 20 or so were spared, but we lost some of our favorite chickens- The General, Big Chuck, Pigeon, Road Runner, Angelo, Lucy Goosey, Rusty and several others. 

This winter was also the first winter where the hens stopped laying completely for us. I don't know if it was because of the sickness, the long winter or the cold, but we didn't get any eggs for 3 or 4 months. They just started laying again about a month ago... first it was 1 egg a day, then we were getting 2 or 3... today there were 8!!! That is the first time this year that we got more than 4 eggs. I am SO happy- it was awful to buy store eggs this past winter. 

This chicken ^  is one of the hens from last year's chicks. 
She is very curious, and every time I come outside, she leaves the flock and heads over to see what I am doing. She is very pretty and I like her spunk! I plan to give her a more permanent name, but for now she is "orange chick". I am hoping she will become tame, even though I didn't hold her much as a chick. (I was busy with a newborn baby last spring)

I can't get enough of the outdoors right now! 
Every day the sun is shining and the birds are out... 
honestly I don't think there is a better place on earth than a farm
 during springtime!!!  I love it :)

Have a great weekend! Get outside and enjoy some spring! 

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