“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012

Spring’s here! The light is lasting longer as the earth’s wobble tilts us closer to the sun.

Today the bees were bringing in pollen – grey, yellow, white, and red – from crocus, daffodils, etc, and from trees, especially the swamp maples that are bursting with petite red flowers. Some bees were fat with nectar as they landed; a sure sign that honey is starting to be made, and brood is being fed.

The chickens are laying more eggs each day now. The 25 chickens average about 18-20 eggs every week in the winter and as the days get longer, laying increases each week. Chickens are scheduled by the sun. Last week we were up to about 50 eggs, and today alone we collected 11. (I guess for 25 chickens it could be more, but not all of them lay eggs anymore because they are up there in years. I let my chickens live out their life here…I figure that they’ve provided for me and it’s only right for me to provide for them in return.) By early summer, we might top out at about 70 eggs a week, and then a little less as the heat slows the girls down a bit.

It’s also the shedding season. Now, when we groom any of the hippos, the brush gets so full of hair in just a few strokes that it needs to be cleaned out. Same is true when I brush Snoops. Small birds swoop down now and then to pick up what hair lands on the ground and use it for making their nests. Nature doesn’t let much go to waste. It’s almost as if it’s all planned out and everything timed to fit together…

The wild turkeys are putting on shows each day – in the back yard and front pasture, males are strutting with their feathers all puffed out. Wooing the hens…the guys look like mummers without the banjoes. A lot of people complain about all the turkeys these days, but I like them. Years ago there were no turkeys in the county, as they had been hunted out. The state department of Fish and Game reintroduced them, and coupled with new hunting laws, the turkeys have flourished. It is a success story that in some areas has been too successful, and these areas are over run with them. Not so here. At least not yet. We have two main flocks – one of 39 and one of 23 that move through here. Soon the hens will be nesting and the flocks will temporarily break up. Come June the females will band together and raise the chicks. By late summer the flocks will re form and roam the woods and fields. I have never tired of watching this cycle. Wild turkeys are so cool!

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