This time of the year, surrounded by a riot of colorful blooms each day, puts a spring in one's heels making one want to do a happy dance- that is if one had the time or energy to do it. It's so exciting day by day see another plant peek out of the ground with tiny green leaves or watch new bulb unfurl its silky bud into a gorgeous flower that is enough to take one's breath away at the beauty of God's creation. Another interesting aspect is discovering some bulbs moving about from year to year in spots where I hadn't planted them thanks to the crazy squirrels. Spring is definitely full of surprises on my end.
Dwight replaced the roofs on a couple of my bluebird houses, which I then spiffed up with new paint and then built a new roof for my large bird feeder out in the yard and lowered it down to my level making it easier for me to refill. Pastor Sam and Ricky Mamoran from our church came out the other month and put in a couple of windows in the chicken barn for ventilation that was much needed.
I've been busy outside each sunny day happily digging in the dirt planting seeds, thining, and transplanting flowers. I got my red beets, peas, spinach, and lettuce sowed in the garden and hope to get my beans in this week.
But the most thrilling thing yet is the seven baby ducks I bought a month ago. I have missed seeing ducks waddling around the yard eating bugs so much. And since my disastrous experience with the guinea hens didn't work out as bug catchers I have turned back to ducks. I was able to resist the first batch of baby ducks that arrived where I buy my feed convincing myself that I needed to wait until Tex was a bit older and calmer, but the second batch that came in was my waterloo. I must have spent fifteen minutes- thankfully the store was practically empty- talking to the sweet little things and arguing with myself before finally giving in. I made sure to get some big and little ones in order to have males and females as baby ducks are a lot of work to raise and I'd prefer for them to keep up the population themselves. It's amazing how fast little duckies grow. They are now out of the brooder and down in the old henhouse- Dwight helped me plug up all the holes- where there hasn’t been any signs of rats since we kept poison out for a couple of months now thank goodness. I put in a small pool for them and what fun they have splashing and playing around. Tiny wisps of feathers have appeared on their little bodies. I love going out each day, despite having to lug water and feed, to the ducks hearing them chatter as soon as they hear my voice and watching their tiny tails waggle back and forth in joy as I fill up the feeder with food and pour out the water. I have to tear myself away after indulging in watching them play in the water or run around exploring their new space. Always before I had just white ducks, which are difficult to tell apart- this time I got ducks that are multicolored in order to be able to name them. I am open to any suggestions for names. What fun!
The plan is to put in a two smaller gates in the duck pen (the old chicken yard)- one going to the yard around the house and the other to the woods- and make the large gate in the fence more secure that divides our yard and woods in half. That way we can keep Tex down in the woods while the ducks are safe to wander around the house or Tex at the house and let the ducks roam the woods. Then once the ducks are put up for the night Tex can have the run of the place. My daughter also suggested that I can let the hens (Butterscotch, Peaches, Henny, Penny, Matilda, Chicken Little, Nicole, Big Mama, and the four that look so much alike you can’t tell apart: Enne, Meene, Minne, and Moe) roam around as well when the ducks are in the yard. This will really help keep the tick population down that is to be worse this year.
Right now I’m halfway through a huge project from sheer desperation. The hedge along the fence in front of the woods has gotten completely out of control due to Dana being hospitalized a couple of times each year and me being down on antibiotics from ticks. When I went to tackle it last year I realized that the large trunks were too thick to cut with my clippers as I want to cut it way back in order to keep it no higher than the fence. So I got a brainstorm and decided that I could learn to handle the saw all that is smaller than a heavy chainsaw. I figured the hedge couldn’t be much higher than 6 to 8 feet and I could load the cut branches in the back of Dwight’s pickup. Well lo and behold, after Dwight carefully explained how to use the saws all and I geared up with heavy gloves to attack the hedge, once I got in the hedge it was a lot bigger than I had thought towering way over me. Not to be deterred I braced myself and began cutting the first branch. I managed to get the saws all jammed a couple of times until Dwight explained that I needed to cut at the back of the lean instead of into it. Then the blade fell off on me, which Dwight put back in and tightened up. Slowly but surely huge branches began to topple over like small trees. When the enormous branches fell over the fence, despite tugging with all my might and main I couldn’t budge them, so dear Dwight would come and help me drag them over the fence and up into the back of the truck. We loaded up the pickup twice with huge loads- it turns out they are more like 12 to 15 feet long. I made it halfway down the hedgerow before having to quit yesterday looking like a crazy woman with tangled hair streaming down my face as I wrestled with the massive branches. Needless to say I am going a lot slower today, but the hedgerow is looking so much better already. As usual I need to hush up as I’ve run out of room.
May you have a blessed Easter season!