The Homestone

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The stormy days of May

The oldtimers are predicting a hot dry summer. It's greening up around here right now and the hay fields are still very wet. It's bears, birds and cloudy skies... Lots of bears around right now. We haven't seen any on the meadow but there was a calling card at the top of the drive the other day. Lots of bear sightings on the road to town lately. We've got a good tight place with lots of fencing but we keep our eyes open as we do have what might be considered a tasty smorgasboard of sheep here. We're still getting a good frost about every third morning so it barely feels like spring most days. The meadow and fields are awash with the bright yellow heads of dandelions and that's about it for spring flowers thus far. Birds! Hundreds of birds. Swallows and blackbirds and cowbirds, Canada Geese and swarms of hummingbirds who are feasting on the high test sugar water we supply for them. The cowbirds are constant companions to the sheep. Riding them like floats in a parade. Our little ewe lam 'Bella has become terribly independent. She's off on her own grazing and barely concerned about her mom's whereabouts these days. There's a storm brewing out there... Time to shut off the power till the lightening passes. Time to refill the hummingbirds sugar water.

Till next time ...

Friday, May 12, 2006

One morning in May

Today is Mum & Dad's anniversary. Wish we could be there to give them our love in person. It's the 12th of May and our little Bella is growing like a weed. She is strong and healthy and finding her way in the small flock of sheep that is her family. Her big sister ( born last year) has been a bit pushy with the little one but they are settling down now. Spring comes late here ~ followed closely by summer. There are still patches of snow in the bush and as recently as last week we were getting flurries of snow and morning frosts. Frosts are something we see every month of the year. The trees are due to leaf out any minute now. The finches and blackbirds have been back for quite a while. The swallows came home on the second of May. Their arrival always coincides with the arrival of the mosquitoes. I swear the mosquitoes are as big as bumblebees this year. The swallows (God bless them) are our first line of defense against the mosquitoes. When not dining on the little biters they are busy re-inhabiting last years digs and building anew in preparation for the little ones... They are such a delight with their constant chatter and busy lives. We filled and hung one of the hummingbird feeders on Sunday in anticipation of those little beauties return. Two days later there they were ... Just a few early birds but we will soon be abuzz with hummers at the kitchen window. This is such a busy time of year for us! We are expecting a hot dry summer and that means fire danger. We have acres of bug killed pine (standing dead) trees that have to come out. There is the irrigation to set up and maintain, hay fields to flood and manage, sheep to shear and chickens to tend to... Time to set up the greenhouse and get the gardens going. We look forward to feasting on our own homegrown greens. Chard and spinach, romaine and beet greens ...ahhh. Yes. But first the work. Since our scenery here doesn't offer much colour as yet, here are a few flowers from a friend. My email-pal in upstate New York has been sending pics of her garden ... she is an avid grower of hot peppers and all manner of flowers & shrubs. She just sent a beautiful bouquet of lilacs ~ deep purple lilacs. So pretty. And her lovely little azalea with it's first open flowers. And on that note of colour ~ I'm back to work. Thanks Donna! And Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad!