Spring is really here now, the forsythia is blooming, the grass is becoming more green everyday and daffodils are everywhere. Johnny’s Garden is so beautiful, its such a treat to watch mother nature work her magic and make it come alive in the spring.
The coming of spring has lead to a couple of unexpected discoveries. The most immediate of these is that Bogie & Bacall are both male geese of two different breeds, Bogie is a White Chinese and Bacall is a Embden. Who knew? This presents a larger problem than just having to come up with a new name for Bacall. It is springtime after all and the geese are feeling the urge to reproduce and have only the female ducks to romance, much to the dismay of everyone involved. Not long ago we found one of the female ducks dead on the surface of the pond, it was quite mysterious and we didn’t know what to think, a couple of weeks later Don luckily noticed Bogie nearly drowning Bayberry in the process of trying to mount her. Fortunately he was able to intercede in time and Bayberry is fine, but…..We have to do something and soon. We are on the lookout for 2 adult female geese and so far aside from purchasing a pair from the one of the local feeds stores at a pretty penny we are not having any luck. If you happen to know of anyone that has geese and might have a couple of females available we would appreciate it if you would mention it here. It makes me feel a bit silly that we are just finding this out now, it seems like something that we would should have known sooner than now, and I suppose if we had been raised around a farm we probably would have but we weren’t and so sometimes we learn things the hard way. I am glad that we are learning and helping keeping this kind of knowledge alive in the world. Of course there is plenty of information readily available and we could have avoided this problem if I’d bothered to do a little more research. *shrug* Moving on.
The other, less urgent surprise was the 30 some odd duck eggs hidden under a pile of firewood. We knew they were laying and would find the occasional egg (and more often the remains of an occasional egg feasted upon by the ravenous resident ravens who have managed to settle in and make themselves at home by mimicking the ducks in order to avoid being driven off by the geese) but we had no idea they were this serious about it!
In the meantime, everything else on the farm is just as busy as the ducks and geese. The roosters happy enough up to this point to share and share alike with regards to the hens all of the sudden have become quite possessive and are fighting. And here we thought we our roosters were more civilized and had worked out “open relationship” agreements among themselves. Likely something will have to be done about that too if the fighting becomes violent, for now its mostly show and we do have more hens in the brooder that will ease the situation eventually. In the meantime the hens are in full swing egg production once again and if you are in need of eggs, we have plenty for sale at $3.00 per dozen.
Really it’s quite amazing how just the simple fact of spring has everything in the barnyard so….turned on.
Project wise, the warm weather is a real boost and the barnyard continues to come along. We worked for several hours on Sunday removing all of the old wood from the stalls and making some repairs and started to break up some of the concrete brick surrounding the concrete pad that we will be taking out at our work party scheduled for a couple of weeks from now. We are using the concrete that we remove and break up to berm up the outside of the fence around the corral and the chicken coop which will serve multiple purposes, keeping irrigation water out, the goats in the corral, and frustrate the dogs in their attempts to dig under the chicken coop fence. It doesn’t look so pretty now, but once we’ve buried it all it will look fine and be quite effective. Nice to be able find a good use for the concrete and save the work of hauling the stuff to the dump.
Don and Dillan got really motivated about swinging the sledge hammer and took out the back sidewalk too and now the back yard area can be leveled and worked and maybe this summer we will get around to start the planning on the landscaping back there since completing the barnyard will give us a place that we can keep the dogs while the work is going on. It would feel really good to start thinking about that maybe as early as this fall.
Upcoming projects aside from the work party to take out the cement slab include roofing the stalls and the tractor shed, a new irrigation system, and planting of course. I’ve done some work in the greenhouse but it will need more attention and eventually there will be more cleaning up and work to be done in the barn. Once we get a handle of those things we can think about leveling the barn and building a hay shed, the backyard patio and landscaping or maybe enclosing the front patio, one more thing that has been on the agenda for some time.
I haven’t been great about carrying the camera around lately, but I’ll try and get motivated to get out and get some pictures taken and update here again soon. The fruit trees are all blooming the apricots in particular but a plum too. I’m almost hopeful that we have at least one more freeze, I dread to even think about the apricot’s producing like they did last year. Spring is early this year, so I suspect we will have at least one freeze and in the meantime I’m enjoying the blossoms.