Sunday, January 30, 2011

Almost Spring

The beginning of spring can be difficult to spot. I mark February 1st as the first day of spring, the beginning that is almost imperceptible; On my wall calendar the 20th of March is labeled 'Spring' but by that date, the agrarian Spring is well underway. Now, the signs that spring is beginning are becoming apparent.

In response to the lengthening daylight, I am coming out of my winter hibernation mode. Last week, I was motivated to start knitting a lace shawl, one of my resolutions for the New Year, but more indicative is my desire to DO STUFF outside. My spring cleaning is weeding the rose and berry beds and putting down fresh straw in the barn (I find it more difficult to find inspiration for spring cleaning inside the house). Cleaning out the chicken house, pruning, and preparing the garden beds for planting are done now amidst the optimism of Almost Spring.

The buds on the trees are swelling, a sure sign that screams to me, "GET READY, SPRING IS COMING!!!" Almost Spring, I think of as its own season, on the cusp of the beginning of the growing year when the hatchery and seed catalogues are repeatedly leafed through in our household and when decisions are made that determine what's grown and raised. It is the season for a fresh start. Once we are in the midst of Spring proper, seeds can get washed out, not germinate, early frosts hit -its a long list of discouraging things that can go wrong during the growing season- but now we can hope for and envision the very best growing season ever.

One of the very first things to come up is the rhubarb, and its appearance is one of the surest sign that it is Almost Spring. Weeding the rhubarb bed is on my list of THINGS TO DO. So is weeding the strawberry bed, the raspberry bed, the currant bushes, cleaning out the asparagus bed......

Mud, and lambs, lambs and mud. This is what Almost Spring looks like just outside the barn door (and also Spring and sometimes Early Summer, Late Fall, and Winter).

Even if there isn't much to graze on, the flock wants to be out on the pasture every day. It is a small flock and we have pastures we rotate them through, so they have access to pasture all year round, which makes for a happy flock of sheep with happy and healthy growing lambs.

Both the flock and us have made it through another winter, and welcome it being Almost Spring!


  1. The lace shawl looks lovely :)

  2. Beautiful photographs, sheep and buds, Spring is in the air...somewhere... it is almost tangible.