Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Springtime In The North Country

We are so far north that spring starts late. But when it starts, it seems to happen with great speed - except this year. Chilly weather with seemingly nonstop drizzle has halted spring in its tracks. Yesterday we had morning snow. But warmer weather and a return to springtime should happen soon:

Since I was watching for Violet to abort the mummified fetus she was carrying, I drove the perimeter of the field every so often to look. I never found any fetus, but I did find two growing dust bath spots which the cows have made. It took me some time to figure out what they were, but now that I know, I am impressed that their instincts help them find comfort:

And I searched around the giant stone pile at the far end of one field, the place where stones were placed to clear them off the field. I noticed that they are on a fairly square, raised bed with smaller stones around its perimeter and suspect that an old house or cabin once sat right here. When it was gone, the hole was probably filled in with stones and the site used to keep the fields clear:

As I was driving around the field, the sunlight was illuminating the dewy spider webs in the lawn and I was impressed by how very many spiders lived there. I tried to find out what kind they might be, but didn't make any progress. Suffice it to say that there are a LOT of them. I hope they keep the fly population down:

As I returned from my tractor tour of the south field, I had to stop and snap a photo of the herd, the barn and the house. It was all very pretty:

When I was finished with my tour of the field, I parked the tractor in the barn and checked on the pigeons. Many of them are laying eggs and tending nests, but I know from last year that doesn't necessarily mean more pigeons. I'll just have to wait and see:

I'm down to 11 bantam hens and no longer let them out during the day. Our bold, ravenous foxes will have to find their dinners elsewhere:

One of the Easter Egger bantams has become quite broody. She defends her clutch of eggs and will peck me if I reach under her, so I reach over her, pick her up and set her on the floor before I collect the eggs:

After a winter of neglect, the stock tank had become full of brown algae. I have always used a fish net to scoop out as much as I could each day, but it grows at an amazing speed. So one day I decided it was time for a spring cleaning:

I unscrewed the plug at the bottom and tried to brush down the inside walls while the water was draining out:

Blue and Remy thought it was all great fun, and came running over to splash in the water and throw the bucket around. They were trying to steal the brush and channel-lock pliers, but I quickly stopped them and put the tools in a safer spot:

When I was done, I refilled the stock tank and the herd had fresh, clean water:

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