Thursday, March 22, 2012

On the second day of Spring

The calendar may tell me we've (just) passed the vernal equinox, but is it Spring? Is it really? Is it safe to come out of hibernation yet?

If I squint in a particularly determined manner then I can almost convince myself that there are big buds on the sycamores down the dingle. Surely there are? This Cornus kesselringii above, planted for its striking dark stems but otherwise something of a dull shrub, has redeemed itself this week - the brightness of the emergent leaves like little fresh flames in a thatch of black stems. It has earned its keep this season. It can stay.

There are certainly primroses and pretty native daffodils. Oh why didn't we put more in last autumn? Such simple little things unlike their brasher, cultivated cousins. Such bringers of joy at this time of year too.

The Glam. Ass has early blossom in his orchard - this is a Japanese Plum. I wish I could say the fruit was tasty - it was certainly prolific last year but the dogs ate it up before we humans got a look in. (Chester grazes from the branches and Wilson hoovers up whatever's on the ground.)
Fortunately the hens have been busy at last.  I never fail to get a thrill when I open the nest box to reveal a clutch of eggs, some still warm. (Sorry about the fuzzy picture.)
It's nearly time to think about finding some hatching eggs to put in the incubator - I fancy having a few more Marans to bring on for next year. They're the ones which lay those deep brown eggs - though why shell colour is so important when it's the egg inside that counts does baffle me.

We've got a resident rabbit's the cutest, tiniest thing and has chosen to live under the wood pile. Like the evil grey squirrel it's got it PR sorted. It sits in the sun and washes its ickle nose with its itsy paws and I go 'ahhhh' and melt.

There's only 1 rabbit so far - unless there are more and they come out to graze at different times. That would be worrying, taking into account the multiplication rate of rabbits and the fact that I am hoping, once again, to grow vegetables in abundance. I'm usually with Mr Mc Gregor re rabbits....but having just found the link (I can have a Peter Rabbit App for the iPhone!!) am having a moment of weakness. But one step towards my lettuces Master Rabbit and you are pie.

It's definitely not a hare. One morning last week up on the field sat a big March hare, who, as I approached, loped off into the mist. They're about but we don't see them often - and sighting this shy and elusive creature seemed like a good omen.

Now the fields are full of new lambs. Soon I will spy birds nesting - the garden is loud with bird song as I write this. Already we have asparagus showing its pale snouts above the soil - soon there will asparagus for supper.

I feel the urge to plant and to sow - to get out there and be part of this great awakening but that soil is still too cold, it's still too early. I'll bide my time - 'feste lente' - make haste slowly - making do with a bit of tidying here and some greenhouse work there.

And because it is still too early to do without the boiler and we need it running for water and warmth I'll wait in for someone to come and diagnose its latest 'hiccup'. That's run 10 minutes, blow all the fuses ad infinitum. Pah! give me the sun's warmth on my back any day.


Pondside said...

We're waiting for true spring over here too. While it's frigid on the lower mainland, a call home last night offered the news that it had snowed yesterday.
I loved the PR site and have sent it to my daughter, who is still a fan.

Cro Magnon said...

Those eggs are a fantastic colour. Our Turkens lay white or pinkish ones; but the taste is A1.

Mac n' Janet said...

It's spring here too, we've been busy planting and weeding and smelling the Wisteria.

Zoƫ said...

Marans are on my list, along with Aracuna, a couple of white leghorns and a silverlaced Wyndotte or two.

I have egg envy, tasty as they are, my x batt girls only offer up palebrown/tinted speckled eggs - the idea of breaking the top off one of a boiled dark brown marran's and exploring it with some buttered soldiers has me salivating!

Lots of signs of life here too, though thankfully no bunnies although I have seen plenty around - this years brood I suspect.

Friko said...

I definitely think it's time to get out there and start digging. The sun's been out for most of the day and so have I. My hands barely manage to move on the keyboard, there that stiff and sore.

But I love it, so that's alright.

Friko said...
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Friko said...
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Friko said...

sorry mountainear, I was told three times by the dreaded word verification that I typed the wrong letters; retyping them each time repeated my comment.

I've got rid of the wv and prefer not to use it. Sorry.

her at home said...

Oh dear that bunny has got you well and truly sussed.. there is never EVER just ONE bunny !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

elizabethm said...

Love to see your photos of spring. The thing about bulbs is that there are never enough. This year for the first time my daffodils begin to look as they are meant to but this now reveals how essential it is to have some naturalised scillas. Who knew?

Frances said...

Mountaineer, I don't much like the sound of those blown fuses, but everything else you're reporting about springtime round your place sounds so, so wonderful!

Sometimes, I wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to raise some hens and have the luxury of such delicious eggs. Maybe!


Twiglet said...

Beautiful Spring photos. I guess its time for me to get digging our little plot at Annie's. I have potatoes ready to plant so I better get a move on! - Jo