The Homestone

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.

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