img_2222.jpgI have been hearing woodpeckers lately- the hollow sound of their hammering echoes across the field. They might have been hammering all along, but closed windows and doors kept their staccato rhythms from me. The spring thaw is awakening some of the bugs I haven’t missed!! The fly swatter has been dug out of hibernation also, and used a few times already!! A few early lady bugs have crawled under the door jamb, and have been rescued and sent back outside. Spiders dangle every time the garage door goes up, so beware!

For the past week, the spring peepers have been making evening music down by the river’s edge. That is a definite sign that spring is very near.

I have been remiss in not getting the hummingbird feeder outside the bedroom window. According to the researchers at Hilton Pond, the hummingbirds are enroute, returning north after their South American winter break.

This past week was spent seeding the fields for next winter’s supply of hay. My husband was the farmer in charge of that detail – I was the official photographer, and traffic director. The ten minutes it took to manuever the tractor through the gate and into the paddocks made me think that maybe we should have double gated! But, Mr. Green Jeans insists that this will be the only year we seed the paddocks, so we won’t have to go thru this again. The barn remained intact , the horses safely in their stalls, snorting and pawing as the tractor edged just a little too close in its attempt to turn around and get from paddock 1 to paddock 2. There was one little gouge on a fence post, but we won’t mention that!!

Putting the seed out in the rest of the fields took the better part of a day and a half. The last windy day was spent, broadcasting by hand, seed into the areas the tractor couldn’t fit!

Next week our neighbor will be spreading poultry litter – chicken poop!! That will be a day that the windows might stay closed! It’s an aroma that takes some getting used to, although it is wonderful fertilizer for the orchard grass/fescue/hay mix we are growing. There is more to it, than just spreading the poop – there are forms to be signed, rules to follow, as required by the Va. Dept of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Litter that is not immediately applied to land has to be stored properly, litter must be analyzed, soil samples taken, amount of litter (chicken poop) must be calculated (pounds per acre).

There is a spreading schedule- for hay and pasture, March thru October.

It must be spread 200 feet from neighboring occupied dwellings, unless the occupant waives or reduces the buffer in writing. I guess that is what Mr. Green Jeans signed, and why we will be keeping the windows closed for a day or so!!!

I need to get my own seeds started for my vegetable garden. Today might be a good day for that! And, to make some hummingbird syrup, and put out the feeder, in case we have some hungry early arrivals!

So starts another day at Mountain Meadows, and it promises to be a good one!