The Homestone

Friday, April 28, 2006

Blossoms on you ...

Ahhhh cherry blossom time. This is a photograph taken by our nephew David Michael Finch. It arrived in an email from him this morning. I couldn't resist posting his beautiful photo. David lives where my David grew up - in the Similkameen Valley of BC. It is definately spring in the valley! Thanks for the blossoms David.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The greening snow

Even though we knew it was coming it was a bit of a shock to wake up to a heavy snowfall. There was at least 3 inches of snow on the ground by 8 am. A bit of shock for the birds and the sheep too - even the chickens were suitably subdued this morning. So we slogged outside and knocked the wet snow off the solar panels ... fed and watered the animals and reassured our little ewe lamb that although summers are short here - they are not as short as the one she just witnessed. It's just after 3 in the afternoon now and the snow has almost disappeared. It's still wet and cold but the hay brown grass of yesterday (in this pic) has been turned a whole shade greener courtesy of our late spring snowfall.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday before dinner

April showers seem to be coming in the form of hail & snow. One moment it's a snow storm, the next hour it's warm enough to sit out on the back porch with a cup of tea while we throw the ball for the dogs. The ground is the colour of last summer's hay bales. The grass has a faint aura of green about it. All around us the meadow is a-buzz with springtime visitors ~ waterfoul and shorebirds, our resident moose and her yearling are to be spotted most mornings now grazing on the willows or wading knee deep through the water at the low spots on the hay field. We have welcomed back the blackbirds and kestrels, the mallard ducks and sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, bluebirds, plovers, grouse, robins and Canada Geese. Along the road that leads to town we have seen marmots and black bears (two cubs and their mom just the other day) and of course deer, deer and more deer... We burned our brush piles this past weekend. We had a good cover of fresh fallen snow, an overcast sky and it was just the window of opportunity we had hoped for. This winter we (the 'royal we' for the most part) harvested our winter wood supply from the standing dead trees inside our fence line and over by the cabin. There were alot of brush piles and the resulting fires were impressive! The burn adds nutrients to the soil and rejuvenates plant growth. As a note to myself ~ The Massachusetts Audubon Society has an excellent resource on managing small grasslands for grassland birds. Life goes on apace. The sun was shining on the meadow this morning and we're expecting snow tonight. Right now it is raining and very welcome too. It's almost dinner time. Nice to have the wood stove on evenings like these ~ it's wet and cold outside and very cozy in the house.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Spring in earnest

We put the snow shovels away yesterday afternoon and brought the little ewe lamb and her mom outdoors from their winter shelter in the shop. Bella was born on March 9th. She and 'The Mrs' are doing splendidly. The little ewe is healthy and strong and the other sheep have been meeting and investigating the new arrival with great interest. The first dandelion has popped up her bright yellow head at the edge of the house under the kitchen window. We must add a little garden in that spot ~ plant some crocuses and hyacinths. . . Busy day ahead today. Rings to finish and lots of folks to touch base with in preparation for the next shipping day. It's overcast this morning and that's okay since it will be an indoor working day for both of us. We keep the camera close at hand to capture whatever wonders come into view today.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

Spring on the meadow

Some spring scenes... Moose on the meadow at sunrise, eyeing the hay in the hayshed. Our sunset on April 4th ... that kind of thing. out walking April 4th

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Trumpeting spring

Just before sundown today, we had the magical pleasure of a visit by eight Trumpeter Swans. Without a telephoto lens we didn't get a good close up shot but here they are, just after they touched down on our flooded meadow.The Trumpeter Swan ~ a link to Environment Canada's Hinterland Who's Who ~ there is a great vintage clip on the trumpeter swan on their site. The photo here is from the website Venture North. We invited them to stay of course but after just about 20 minutes, they lit into the air and headed south west across the meadow.