Saturday, April 27, 2013

Habitats of the Homestead

This week has finally brought some warmer temperatures, and the homestead has begun to come alive.  All of its inhabitants are turning their faces toward the clear skies and sunshine, and soaking it all in.  The most telling sign of spring is the grass is finally green and growing like crazy.  The habitats of the homestead are coming alive, waking up from their winter drudgery.

The baby bunnies do not look so small anymore at over half the size of mom already.  They made their transition to the outside hutch easily and are enjoying the sights and sounds of the outdoors.  It has been such fun to watch them grow.  The time is soon approaching where three of the little ones will have to make their way to new homes.  I think there is a ribbon winner or two among this bunch!

The bees are emerging from the hives and testing their wings after a long winter.  We began to supplementally feed them, and though our own property has only a few flowers beginning to open, B spied a few flying home this morning with their legs coated in pollen!  We can easily spend lots of time watching these busy bees, they have such an amazing social structure, each one having an important task vital to the household.

The chickens spent some time scratching and dusting yesterday evening.  They have been cooped up (love figuring out where phrases come from!) since January when the outer enclosure roof collapsed during a heavy snow.  We had intended to repair it, but that is on hold until B's hand is healed.  So in lieu of unlimited access outside like they would normally have, we are letting them out for the last few hours of the day.  Then when they head into roost we close them in.  Despite having a large number of trees, the areas immediately around the house and barn are very open, and the chickens been subject to predatory birds in the past, so completely free access just does not work for them. 

The kale, spinach and lettuces that overwintered in the cold frame are robust and have been adorning our table all week.  We can hardly seem to make a dent in them.  I foresee a salad with every meal this week! 

With an almost non-existent spring until now, I leave you with our little hint that summer is right around the corner.  The lilacs are enjoying themselves and preparing for their own show...soon to come.  Happy Weekend!

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