Friday, June 17, 2011

Spring has Sprung

Life has been busy at Windy Acres.  I'm behind in updates, so thought I would get them all done in one big blog.

Vegetable Garden
Keith gave me a wonderful surprise this year.  I wanted raised beds after two-years of fighting (and losing) the battle of the grasses and weeds.  Not only did he have beds built for me, but he also had them stained in bright beautiful colors. I love the whimsy it brings to my secret garden.  I truly enjoy my time in the garden - even weeding and mulching.  I can shut out the world and just be.  the raised beds provide easier access and easier weed control.  Now I want to add some fun ornaments.  We have a bottle tree and I just need to get busy taking the labels off of the wine bottles and moving it out into the garden.

What's in the garden this year? Tomatoes, peppers (sweet & hot), carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, lettuce, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, peas, beans, onions, potatoes and strawberries.  I planted spinach, but the seeds didn't take.

Baby Birds and Pick-up Trucks
We had an interesting incident with the pick-up truck this spring.  Robins decided to build their nest right on top of the rear driver's side tire - not in the wheel-well mind you, directly on the tire.  When it comes to sturdiness, maybe we should look to the birds!  With the severe storms we have had so far, the nest stayed put through it all.  When it comes down to it, we are both really big softies at heart, so the truck wasn't moved until the birds hatched and flew the coop. 

Last week, I noticed Abby standing very still and staring at something in the grass.  I thought it might be a frog as I have seen quite a few lately.  Sandy comes bounding over to see what is holding Abby's interest.  At that very moment, the baby birds began to flap widely trying to fly and escape the giant dogs.  So here I go again, chasing after dogs.  running trying to prevent them from squashing the baby bird while dodging very upset parents and siblings. it felt like a scene from The Birds with me yelling at dogs and running interference, trying to direct the baby out of the backyard and through the fence AND covering my head from the attacking Mommy & Daddy and sibs.

We've been working and some handy men have been helping get all the various flower beds planted this year. Our land was almost a completely blank canvas when we moved here in 2007.  Some big trees on the outer perimeter, no shrubs and only a few perennials thrown in here and there. We have been slowly transforming Windy Acres one flower bed at a time. This was the first flower bed.  It is just outside our main entrance, facing east.  Although not my favorite type of rose, the Knockout Roses were really beautiful this year and the first flowers to show themselves after the torrents of rain that was April.  It's hard to see in this picture, but I love the Land of Oz sign that my dear friend Karla gave me for my birthday a couple years ago - nestled in the roses.  And yes, "The Wizard of Oz" is one of my favorite films.
...and the chickens
Last but not least, good news!  Doris has finally decided  to stop being broody.  She definitely won that battle which lasted 3.5 weeks.  And to think that the reference books only mention a few days when it comes to broodiness.  I was also able to finally find another nest that the other birds would use while she hogged all the space in the first Coca-cola crate.  the answer was a second Coca-cola crate in the opposite corner.  Egg production is getting back to normal with 6 and 7 eggs per day between the 10 hens.