When Is the First Day Of Spring

Officially, it’s like what…March 20th or so?  But as you know, the weather and the world go at their own pace and Spring arrives when it arrives, after it has ambled along, as it is driven to arrive, as it finds itself in your trees and fields.

Spring rarely wallops its way in, but slips in, here and there, until one day you find yourself with your feet up on your porch and saying to yourself, ‘huh here we are…we’re in Spring now.’

So far, here at the farm, the signs have been strong, despite the brutal record breaking cold.

The birds in general are more animated as the hot bright sunlight does it’s work on the land.  the air is tight and frosty, but this late winter sun is a match for it.  Find a pocket without a breeze and you have warmth…you have a place where life can live a bit.

It's not uncommon for there to be a hundred or so birds at the feeder...and more in the barn...eating up everything that the chickens don't eat (and some of what they do!)
It’s not uncommon for there to be a hundred or so birds at the feeder…and more in the barn…eating up everything that the chickens don’t eat (and some of what they do!)

Hoot owls…in the cold, sub zero night have started to call out for lovers. And animals everywhere are deciding it’s time to come out and look for something to eat.  A possum decided to have a bite of one of my chickens.  I killed the possum and put both it and the chicken carcass out on the frozen stream bed.  Within a few days, crows picked away a good deal of the chicken carcass, but only bore one hole in the possum before deciding ‘thank you no’.  A week later, something with dog like tracks made it’s way to chicken carcass, then made it’s way off with it.  The possum’s frozen body remains the same.  I guess if things are hungry; they’re not that hungry.

March is only a night away.  Here is what I have to look forward to as the month progresses:

Each year a pair of mergansers explore the stream running through my

Though the harvest of peas doesn't happen till JULY, I always have a bowl or two left over from the previous year ready to be thawed out and enjoyed with a fresh loaf of baked bread. You want to feel good after a cold day's work outside in March, come into the kitchen and eat some hot spring pea soup and fresh baked bread with butter!
Though the harvest of peas doesn’t happen till JULY, I always have a bowl or two left over from the previous year ready to be thawed out and enjoyed with a fresh loaf of baked bread. You want to feel good after a cold day’s work outside in March, come into the kitchen and eat some hot spring pea soup and fresh baked bread with butter!

property.  Are they fishing?  Looking for nesting ground?  Each year, I see them in all kinds of weather in March and April, and then they are gone.

Last year I was treated to a pair of wood ducks, male and female, splashing around in the part of the stream I call Tranquility, a wide patch of the stream that’s about calf-deep and 30 foot wide…a small woodland pond.  This year, I’ll buy them a house and see if I can’t entice them to make a home of my land.

 

Cedar Waxwings...a beautiful, sculptured bird descend upon a 'wildlife crab' and devour its apples
Cedar Waxwings…a beautiful, sculptured bird descend upon a ‘wildlife crab’ and devour its apples

Each spring a huge flock of Cedar Waxwings work their way through the property.  Their favorite stopping spot is my ‘wildlife crab’ that hold crabapples on it’s branches through the entire winter.  I have to remind myself to try one in April…literally 6 months after their ripening date to see what all the fuss is about.  That’s when these birds show up and they swoop down on the tree in waves to devour all the crabapples that are left. (FYI..I have a lot of crab apples on the property, but most produce small, pea-sized crabapples…these too remain on the tree throughout the winter, but nothing eats them!  They are only devoured in the spring by the arriving robins and other birds)

Close up of the waxwing. i see them in March and April and then not again for another year.
Close up of the waxwing. I see them in March and April and then not again for another year.

 

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