Saturday, May 31, 2014

Music To My Ears

When I lived in our previous home I would often play my favorite CD in the mornings. It was instrumental music set with birds singing in the background. I don't feel the need now since all I have to do is open my windows. The birds sing a fuller song here, more notes with a happier pitch. There is little vehicle or distracting sounds. This morning it is just glorious birds.
On a sad note, our Mountain Bluebirds have left. I didn't get to see the babies. The parents always went out of their bird house at the crack of dawn and then stayed in for the day until sunset. I suppose now that the snow is leaving the mountains that that is where they have disappeared to. I'm sure I was just to busy to slow down and notice. Then again I just might have been gone to the other place working when the little ones made their first flights. Next year, I'm not missing out.
 Barn swallows have taken up the nests. My husband isn't too happy. They fly about in the barn too and of course poop all over things. They are completely different. The male flies around the yard and sits on the post above their home most of the day. With them here most of the other birds have left. Wonder if this is a pattern each year? 
Another visitor in the yard this morning was this doe. I'm waiting to see some fawns arrive. She is eyeing the apple tree. They are in full bloom right now and the bees are loving it.
This week I started letting the girls run the yard. Oh my they are a sorry sight. They are laying really well but oh are they ugly. It is what happens when you have too many chickens in a coop. I'll have to do something about that eventually but for now I'll just keep sprouting wheat for them and letting them graze. It should help with the chicken feed bill between that and the scraps from the kitchen.
I only let them loose when I'm around to keep guard and then at night I holler, "Here chick, chick, chick" to call them back to the coop. It works great as long as you always feed a treat in the chicken coop. Kirk laughs at the sight of the girls for they are rather attached to me. I'm yummy. And when I mow the lawn, it isn't unusual to see a few trailing after. 
 There is so.... much work to be done right now. I've moved rocks and rocks and rocks and cut out dead and half dead bushes from around the house. I still have the trees to do. I've trimmed apple tree sprouts and started digging trenches around the line of evergreen trees by the barn so I can put the hose in one end and it run the length of the trees. Eleven trees to individually water is busy work and I've not time for it. My brain has been working overtime trying to figure out how to simplify and beautify this place. One biggy will have to be a wind break. People don't understand the importance of them. The siding on the north side of the house and garage are rotting because there wasn't one to protect the house from the winter weather. The inspector didn't catch it before we bought the house. Now we have to use an oil base primer and repaint the house THIS summer. That should hold it for a few years until we can reside it. And here I thought we were only going to have to do the trim this year. Not what I had in mind but oh well, life goes on. Good thing I like to work. For sure we will be putting in a wind break but they take years to grow. Remember deciduous on the south to shade the house from the beating sun and evergreen trees on the north if that is where your winter winds comes from. Insulation isn't the only protection a house needs.

As for gardens, I'm working on the old one and will be all summer trying to pull it around. I haven't touched the raspberry patch. It needs wire run to hold up the canes, old ones trimmed out, and a new patch started. The strawberries need moved. There is a mound of something. I'm hoping it isn't wood ashes because it is large, that is in the garden and I need the whole garden in production. I need to put in mulch piles and, and, and.

 I'll finish putting chicken wire around the base of the shed today and rebuild the garden gate the wind demolished. The neighbors roof came off the other night. Yup, the wind can howl. The airport 20 miles away said they got 70 mph gusts. Don't know what we had but it wasn't nice.

Our five year old and I worked on putting in more garden area the other day. I'm determined to save seed this year and that means a pea patch to eat from and one to save seed from etc. for all the rest of the crops too or a bunch of them at least. Kirk brought an old plow and early one morning we went to work. Never plowed before but I just kept moving levers on the tractor until I found one that worked the plow up and down and away we went.
Made me think of the pioneers as we plowed through the sod and tore up the sagebrush. Glad I wasn't doing it with a mule or horse and instead had my beloved tractor. Wish the flip side of the plow worked so we could tear of the soil better but that will have to be a project for Kirk for another time. As it was he had to do some work on the plow and buy a part to get it to function. 
 Meanwhile, I appreciated the ride as I got in some cuddles and kisses with my sweet little girl who LOVES this place. The garden is going to be huge but then how else can you be self-sufficient? Kirk had tore up the ground earlier the previous week and we did it again and then I began the long process of rototilling. I tried just rototilling and it would have taken forever and ever. The ground is really hard and packed. It is at least brown. Our old soil was void of color, nutrients and hard packed.
The tractor leaves big clots that about beat you to death to rototill but the job has to be done and only once so I've buckled down and got to work building shoulder and arm muscles. Who needs a gym when there is old fashion work to be done? 
Just a touch more of rototilling to do for I had to quit as the lighting last night sent me running for cover. Now the new area awaits fencing and planting. That is what I plan on starting on next week.  I've got some tomatoes in the house that are about to topple over, they are so... tall in their pots but they will have to wait a week. I can only go so fast. This ole body isn't young like it once was and as the week grow to a close it is needing some rest.
It will indeed be exciting to see what this garden year brings. My onions are up and the garlic. A few peas are just poking through the ground and that is why I had better hurry and get the garden gate up and the chicken wire around the bottom of the garden shed. Pea shoots are so... yummy.
Sir Reginald here has been taking care of the little rabbits and Kirk has been busy with the larger ones. I swear we had a whole herd of them living under the garden shed. Do rabbits form a herd? I don't know but there was only Mindy and then all of a sudden the yard was full of bouncing gray fur. Twelve will not threaten the garden any more and I think I can button up around the bottom of the garden shed without leaving any underneath to starve to death because they can't get out. Yes, indeed life has changed. I'd better go build that compost heap, and fix the gate, and button up the shed, and, and, and. Wish you could be here with me. And I'm not just talking about putting you to work. I LOVE being outside. The sounds and views are amazing. I'd love to share them with you.

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