A Place For The Future Past


Spring. At last.
March 23, 2007, 4:30 am
Filed under: Community On The Earth

At last, Spring has sprung, but it brought a cold snap with it.  Even with the greenhouse, some of the more tender seedlings got nipped, especially some of the tomatoes.  Oh well, it’s early yet.  Other starts have been threatened by other enemies — not slugs but cutworms.  Even with the soldier beetles I carefully corralled and brought in for organic control, there are one or two new munched seedlings every morning.  Cutworms come out and do their damage at night, but I keep forgetting to grab a flashlight and patrol for them.  Hmm, more research needs to be done to manage that problem.

A male hummingbird startled me, hovering in front of the kitchen window when I was at the sink.  So, they have returned from their migration!  He had been attracted to the brilliant red blossoms of the geranium in the kitchen window, but was thwarted by the glass.  Immediately I began to scrounge for hummingbird feeders and food.  A quick search found a feeder, but the collection of instant nectar is still in hiding.  Oh well, an online search came up with a home recipe for nectar and a freshly filled feeder was up within the hour.  We were rewarded with the attentions of a gorgeous male ruby-throated hummingbird who staked his claim.  A few days later and the feeder has now become Grand Central Hummingbird Station.  Hmm, more feeders and look into planting flowers that hummingbirds like.

It has been decided that the yurt area that has been selected and cleared may be too hidden from view of the house.  A second place has been found and clearing done, with clear view of the house, directly northwest.  Massive brush clearing continues — clearing blackberries and wild roses and grasses away from the Douglas fir, cedar and maples, giving them room to breathe again.  And where overgrown scrap has been cleared, favored plants dare to struggle forth — more than one precious trillium has appeared as though by magic.  Those that face certain death by goat get carefully dug out and potted — though it’s tricky digging out trillium at this stage (they do better if dug after the blooms and foliage die back) they would be surely eaten if left behind. 

Digging and trailblazing are the primary pastimes these days — we never go out without heavy boots, gloves and loppers.  Still the thorns manage to penetrate and by the end of the day we are soaking our hands in hot salt water.  But Em and I can make two passes and have fresh electric fencing up and operational — the horse area has been expanded four times the last time the largest by far.  Digging sod for instant planting areas, moving the sod to shore up eroded creek banks– the corner fencepost of the front gardenyard had been dangerously undermined.  By moving the winter creek-bed further away and stabilizing the ground around the post we hope to save that corner.  Keeping the horses off until it drys completely should help.

Mornings are still chilly, but at least the nights are now officially shorter than the days.  The trees are beginning to leaf out and lose their nakedness.  The grapevines and fig trees are still quietly sleeping, but there are buds on the kiwi and the blueberries and apples…. 

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