Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A Reluctant Spring Update
The Bluebirds and Mockingbirds are already building nests and claiming territory in and around the Small-Hold. The red winged blackbirds and Robins have been back for a few weeks and looking rather depressed at the dead leaves and only slightly protruding buds around them. I saw the first of the yellow finches flying around over the weekend and the BoxElder bugs keep coming out from their hiding places and even finding their way into the house to attack my seedlings.
The huge flocks of Snow and Blue Geese have left and even the big Greater Canada Geese are thinning down into smaller groups as they cruise around looking for nesting sites.
In the city around our property we have there where the concrete makes it warmer, several of the yards are full of Dead Nettle and Henbit once again but out here there is not much noticeable change in vegetation as yet. The Bees and other insects are managing to get out every other day or so for a few brief hours in the afternoon but the nights are clear and cold while the days want to be mostly overcast and windy keeping temperatures down into the 40's at best.
I am still burning the wood stove most days with only a break here and there warming up enough to let it burn out.
It appears the weeks of warm false Spring weather in February and March that have been the norm for the last few years is not going to happen this year. Yes we did have a few warm days but nothing even remotely like what I have been growing used to. If anything it seems more like the March I remember from a decade and more ago. I am not necessarily counting this return to a longer cooler Spring as a bad thing. The damage has already been done to my bee population but it was a damned inconvenient time for a reset I can tell you that much.
The rain barrels were brought out this weekend as well and have already been filled and I have already managed to haul out the first load of bent and twisted metal gates, old wire and rusting equipment parts I am finding during this leg of brush reclamation. I have a long way to go with fence and junk clearing but I have already made a bunch of progress as well. It is amazing what you can find on a chunk of land that hasn't been maintained much for 30 years or more.
After giving it much thought I believe I am not going to add any experiments to the list for this coming Spring and Summer. I will continue with the pole bean breeding program and the sustainable bee growth (I hope) but rather than diverting time to any new experiments I believe I need to dedicate as much time as possible to projects this year. I certainly have more than enough to keep me busy that's for sure.
Hopefully I will be able to get the Broccoli and Cauliflower into the ground this weekend.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!