Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Sprang Sprung

Hey, it's finally spring up here! For certain definitions of spring. That doesn't mean we won't get another snow or two before summer arrives (or even after summer arrives), but for up here, this is as good as it gets.

The tulips are up! No buds yet, but soon...

The first daffodil up is almost ready to bloom. There are a few more daffs lagging behind, but I'm surprised any of them came back after a guest weedwhacked them last year, thinking they were some kind of heavy-duty grass. So I'll take what I can get and be happy.

I hadn't checked the rhubarb yet this spring - it's going all kinds of crazy. Rhubarb pie, rhubarb dumplings, ginger rhubarb jam... Lovely stuff, rhubarb.

Today's big project was putting up the greenhouse that we acquired from friends who are moving away. One of Madman's buddies showed up to help, which was a wonderful thing.

The sheep's pen is next to the garden, and Goldie spent the whole afternoon trying to cajole the guys into giving them more food. Because why on earth would humans be outside if they weren't actively feeding sheep?

They got the walls up and a couple of the roof trusses attached before they had to call it quits for the day.

Once the structure is complete and the plastic is on, we'll be able to set out our tomato and pepper starts and gain about a month on the growing season.

The chickens have been taking advantage of the warmer weather by spending lots of time outdoors. But there's a serious hitch in their enjoyment.

Over the last couple of years, several new springs have bubbled up in our yard. Each year, more and more water is gushing up out of the ground and heading down the hill. This year, half the chicken yard is now a bubbling stream. Once the greenhouse project is done, Madman will go to work trying to channel the water into the trench he's been carving to handle all the water runoff. We really didn't need a babbling brook running from the upper end of our garden, through the chicken yards, and down our driveway...

Here's one of our spring-molting chickens. I think she looks like a Skeksis...

One of the day's smaller projects was removing the Rhode Island Red chicks from the Big Box o' Chix and putting them into their own little habitat. The CornishX chicks have entered the stage where they spend all their time eating, and they were starting to elbow out the smaller Red chicks.
Here you can see the size difference. The Red chick is actually a day or two older than his mutant brethren, but is half the size.

Madman had actually started the transfer before I realized what he was doing (I was still absorbing coffee, so not too quick on the uptake.) I ran for the camera since I wanted to get that size comparison picture.
The Red chicks were a little spooked, as they were getting scooped up one or two at a time and whisked away to the other box.
Here's one trying to hide in the crowd.

("Shhhh... He'll never see me in here...")

Here they are, happy in their new home.

No more having to fight through a crowd of big hungry buffoons just to get a bite of lunch.


Anonymous said...

Spring photos always have that special spring sunlight -- thin, morning-like, watery, but hopeful. I love it. Glad spring is FINALLY here.

Bullwinkle said...

Wow - your daffs are just starting, mine are just dieing out.

Love the wee chicks :)

OfTroy said...

What a great picture of your life in the country --i am such a city girl---my family can be traced back 50+ years--all of them in a city!

I've eaten fresh eggs (and know they taste better)--but not in a million years could i image myself keeping them! Our daffadils came (and went) the tulips (them that the squirrels didn't eat!) are looking pretty sad.

--I love seeing the country--I love the idea of country--but i don't think i could survive country living! (long week ends --many years ago--in Norther NH (Coos County) just about did me in!

But its warms me that others do--I love knowing that there are people like you who keep the farms and animals, and do all you do.
Great post--it was a joy to read

Becky said...

I envy you your greenhouse. That'll mean lots more tomatoes which is always a good thing. I just got my tomato seeds planted on Friday (woefully late!) and I could use a greenhouse to extend my tomato season this Fall.

judy said...

I'm thinking that a greenhouse is the only way to go. Too many failures for me.

quantumtea said...

Those chickens really do look like the Skeksis!

We had spring here, then the monsoons came back and bashed all the petals off the tulips. I'm hoping for a whole day without rain in St Louis but it doesn't look likely. I have vague memoris of a bright thing in the sky but the city looks like we're under a thick grey quilt.

Anonymous said...

Yayayay! For spring! And that is a huge greenhouse, lucky you!

Cookie said...

Woo Hoo!

Angie said...

Green house!!!! Major envy.

Too wild to have springs popping up in the chicken yard. On the other hand, you will have water when you need it, right?


Lanea said...

Ooh, a greenhouse! I'm glad you're finally getting some warm weather. We're having an actual spring in DC, which is sadly rare. I'm trying to soak it all in.