Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool's?

I didn't exactly leap out of bed this morning, but when I finally woke up enough to realize that I really, really wanted bacon, pancakes and a lot of coffee, my first thought was enthusiasm.  The weatherman had promised a sunny, warm Sunday and I was ready for it.

Imagine my disappointment when I swept back the curtains with flair, to reveal this:

Fog, damp, grey.  (My camera wouldn't do it justice, so I hijacked this nicer photo...incidentally, which looks much more cheerful than my grey morning looked...from a much-better-camera-owning blog.)

Mother Nature was having a wee bit of fun on April Fool's Day.  Evil bitch.

After drowning my sorrows in two cups of strong coffee and a short stack of buttermilk pancakes, the sun decided to make an appearance.  Now, the day looks something like this:

Cue bird song-angelic choir chorus.  Now, that's more like it, M.N.!

So far, I've planted a bed of garlic, raked smooth another bed, filled the tire on my sad little wheelbarrow, and hauled four heavy barrow-loads of dirt to fill a couple of the raised beds in the hoop house.  All that, in about an hour and a half.

As you can see, that required a brief water-Advil-computer break.  I'd forgotten just how heavy topsoil can be, particularly when it is damp, and how insidious the incline of my yard is when pushing said heavy topsoil uphill, repeatedly.  At least I know I have muscles still.  I had started to wonder if they'd disappeared over the winter.

Brief update on the critters:  The five-week-old kits have been moved to their grow out pen, and seem pleased as punch.  Little Mama is delighted to have no one sitting on her head at all times, plus she had a hot date with Bucky.  Bucky was very, very pleased to have a date.

The chicklets on the porch are doing very well, with no further kitty attacks.  Thus far, my reinforcements and cayenne pepper seem to be repelling the cats on the porch against further forays into madness.  I maintain constant vigilance, however, particularly today when the quilt covers are pulled back (the porch gets toasty when it is sunny, and I don't want to wind up with Fried Chicklets).

Lucy the Feral Hen is still broody.  This makes Week 3 of Broody Feral Hen in the Nest.  We have a wonderful daily egg-gathering routine where she squats there, hissing like a snake, and I put my hand under her and flip her up and off of the eggs she has commandeered.  It is great fun for all.  So far, she's only bitten me once.

Okay, daylight is burning and there's four more loads of dirt to be hauled across the yard.  But before I go, once last bit of exciting farmlette news:  I discovered a colony of Mason bees!  They are nesting in the wood privacy fence (erected to prevent my old biddy neighbor from seeing my "messy" garden of growing goodness) and seem happy as clams.  I am so excited to have these delightful, nonagressive pollinators right in my own garden.  Yay!

For those wondering, this is what my Mason bees look like:

Thanks, Harpers College, for the great photograph.  They have a lot more really nice bee pictures, of all kinds of bees and wasps and hornets, if you are into that kind of insect-related photography genre.  For me, it is roughly the stuff of nightmares, but I do like friendly little Mason bees.

Buzzz, buzzz. buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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