Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yard Work

The other day I dug 5 holes along the fence in the front yard for the forsythias I am picked up Saturday from the county conservation district people. I think they'll look really nice down there in a few years. I also planted a few flowering bulbs and an aster my sister gave me from her garden. Still have a bunch of what I think are alium to plant. I also have a forsythia as well from her, I planted another on the west side of the house. This time it's surrounded by large rocks and wire mesh to keep the guineas and chickens from destroying it with dust baths. The hollyhocks near the chimney are no more but there are plenty of dusting holes.

Hal turned my old vegetable garden over with the spade shovel, now I just have to dig out the weeds and smooth it out. As usual I am planting snow peas and beans and perhaps a tomato or two though I've been planting them in deck pots. Won't matter where I plant them if we have another lousy wet, cool summer. Right now it's been very dry. Early warmth in the 70s had the morels popping early and the leaves unfurling on the trees 2-3 weeks early. Hopefully, there won't be any severe freezes though the temperature last night did drop to 30 and it's supposed to go a little lower tonight. Not even 50 degrees yet today, and breezy.

My old veggie garden will be 4 feet shorter as the old fence was moved last year to raise young chickens. I've got 25 feet of plastic 42 inch tall snow fence that I am going touse with a piece of 12 foot chain link that Hal supported between two cedar posts. It will give me a roughly 12 by 8 foot enclosure. Should be enough to keep out the rabbits and the deer don't tend to bother me, must be the dogs.

Speaking of morels I managed to find enough for one small dinner of them, sauteed in butter, salt and pepper with some wild leeks also known as ramps around here. Uncle Butch's son showed Hal where to find them. Hal took me there yesterday and dug up a few more, he wants to plant some here. I looked for morels since it's supposed to be a good are found them. In an hour I found 2, a tiny yellow one and a 2 inch black one. We really need some rain up here. The predicted rain for Saturday stayed just south, so all we got was the clouds and gloom.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

All Mucked Out!

The coop, that is. Today I performed the biannual mucking out of my chicken coop. It took about 4 hours with a few breaks to relieve my nose of the stench. Technically, the deep litter method of keeping chickens is supposed to prevent the stench but I had too many chickens over the winter and their droppings overwhelmed the floor. It did not help having the 3 remaining ducks in there with them but it was the only way to still be sure I had live ducks this year.

I shall mitigate this problem soon. Hal will be lopping off the heads of half of my chickens and also half the guineas. We will be moving the ducks into their own pen as soon as we get a fence built around it. Otherwise I may want to muck out the coop a little more often to prevent such back breaking work.

Of course, tomorrow I still have to take all the muck away. It's sitting in a large pile outside the coop. I still need to charge the lawn tractor battery, hook up the small trailer and fork the chicken droppings into the trailer then dump it on the compost pile at the bottom of the driveway, downwind from the house. That should be fun.

At least the birds are enjoying the day. They got to free range while I was cleaning their house. But now for me, a nice trip to the hot tub will do nicely.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Back Home

I'm back home in Michigan. I had an emergency trip to MA a few weeks ago. Mom was hospitalized and then passed away at age 84. All 4 of her children were there and at one point Lyra as well. My older sister's husband was also there. I told Hal to stay home.

It's very strange. She isn't around to talk to any more. I don't feel as though it's really hit me yet but I'm trying not to think about it too much. She was a very sweet lady and a wonderful mom.