Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring has sprung. Finally.

It's only April 10th and FINALLY winter seems to be loosening its grip.  Oh we will for sure have some more cold and some more snow, but the two straight weeks of temps 10-15 degrees below normal are done!  To celebrate, Mother Nature decided to turn up the thermostat about 25 degrees above normal today.  78 degrees for a high seemed decidely HOT, but enjoyable.

I haven't done too much outside yet, but I did get the last bluebird house put up and all the old ones have been cleaned out.  I've seen several tree swallows hanging around them today.  A good sign.  I've been really lax about this the last couple years, but this year I HAVE to make a point to keep the house sparrows out of the boxes.

I also got the dog house cleaned out today and will let it dry out a bit before adding new straw.  Won't be long until the doggies can be outside during the day instead of locked up in the kennel in the house while I am at work.  The red maple by the dog house is bursting with buds.  This tree blooms much early than the sugar maples in the front yard.

The chickens have been enjoying the time outside too.  With spring comes moist soils and lots of earthworms at the surface.  The 4 hens, Whitey, Blackie, Brownie and Mama Chicken, are laying quite well now.  It's nice to have my own fresh eggs to use instead of having to buy some from the farm down the road.  Next winter I will not have the same issue as I did this year as the young layers will be in their first season of laying so they will lay eggs all winter long.  They are growing fast.  With the warm temps, I turned the heat lamp off today.  Tonight is the first night they will spend in total darkness.  Always a little traumatic for them the first few nights.  It is suppose to get cold again for a few days this week, so I may (or may not) turn the heat lamp back on at night.  They are fully feathered now so it really shouldn't be a problem leaving it off.  I'll see how cold it gets.

 I turned the water back on in the barn today too.  This is a big deal for me because it saves me from carrying water from the house.  That just speeds up my morning chores just a bit.  Mike got the new starter put on one of his tractors.  It fired right up and he took it for a spin this afternoon.  He said the temperature in the new high tunnel was about 170 degrees.  Well, probably not, but he said it was quite warm in there.  He told me I need to walk out and take a picture of the cover crop inside the tunnel because the cover crop inside is now over 6" high while the cover crop outside the high tunnel is barely 1" high.  THAT is why he wanted to put up a high tunnel.

Not much else happening.  The basement has been taken over by seed packages.  Now we just need to wait a few more weeks to start getting the fields ready to plant.