This was the very best day of 2015 so far, according to the chickens. A day above all days.
Freedom! Go go gogogo!
I’ve been opening the door for some time, but there’s just nothing attractive outside for the chickens. They don’t especially enjoy walking barefoot in the snow. The first really warm day, though, put a real dent in the white stuff, and the area in front of the greenhouse cleared right up.
Although we were late getting to it, the sap was late to run this year, due to this weather the Maritimes are having. So, we are right on time. First warmish, sunny day, it’s about to begin..
We tapped six trees, just using little 1-2 gal food grade buckets. Edit: Later we put aluminum foil hats on them (paranoid conspiracy buckets) with elastic bands. Wasn’t pretty, but it worked, relatively. Only lost two hats in the wind.
We don’t intend to boil down the sap to syrup, because we don’t have an outdoor cooking facility, so we’ll have to use it fresh. We’ll just drink it, cook with it, drink it….
There’s nothing more divine than cold fresh maple sap. Perhaps it’s even healing.
I was driving through town and I caught with the corner of my eye a huge group of crows, startling enough I quickly braked to look. There were maybe fifty, densely packed all in one person’s yard, each a foot or two apart, systematically pecking over the driveway and lawn. It was odd to me because I hadn’t seen such a big flock of crows together.
Then a couple of weeks later, a flock four times that size came through our yard!
I caught movement in the corner of my eye again and went to the window, to see crows everywhere, sprinkled evenly over the lawn and driveway, all calmly at work flipping leaves over, walking around, scratching and pecking.
There were over 200! I counted. Several times. My counting got less accurate around 230 each time because the flock would have shuffled too much by the time I got that high. Occasionally a group would flutter up to the tree and talk about something and then settle back down to the ground.
They stayed for about a half hour, and then as one they rose into the air and flew together – into the next yard!
Please excuse a small rash of “catch up” posts. Blogging is a two part process – writing and taking pictures, and posting – each of which requires different states of mind, or at least internet/3G. Many posts pass the first in a flash and wait long for the second.
All I want to do now is play outside. Aka, yardwork. Cleanup, cleanup, cleanup, the Sisyphean job you inherit with a new place that lasts, oh, pretty much ’til you leave it. I started out today raking up my “front lawn”, a bucolic task pleasantly accompanied by Saturday CBC. But pretty soon I was digging out ancient plastic that was laid down at some point in the past in lieu of landscape fabric (I guess), then I stepped on a wire and discovered it was one protruding inch of 6’ of chicken wire under 6” of dirt, totally enmeshed with the roots of the tree it was by. By the time I’d wrested that from the ground I was bleeding, sweating, and filthy, so I figured I’d just keep that theme going for the rest of the day, moving from random task to random task until the light and my energy finally fade.
As I’ve mentioned before, this is my favourite way to work. It’s how I want to live, actually. Barefoot until November and moving constantly from thing to thing as I’m inspired to do it. Continue reading Rudderless→
Now that the snow’s all melting and the world generally looks its muddiest, bedraggled worst, I’m ever so glad for all the fall cleanup I did. Still, the disappearing snow exposes all the unaddressed projects and detritus that needs attention. Today I ringed the fruit trees with Tanglefoot, (hopefully) before those little gossamer rappelling bugs wake up to climb the tree. Wow. That stuff is nasty. It looks and behaves like a cross between taffy and bearing grease, without the pleasant aroma of either. And they give you a two inch stick to apply it with? That is a cruel joke. I really hope the horse doesn’t take an interest in it, is all I can say, because that would be like getting chewing gum out of a toddler’s hair.