Monday, April 15, 2019

Springtime Life Sprinkles

Early Spring is here in all its glory... rain, mud, and clouds.  But! The snow has melted, and little tiny green buds are appearing everywhere, and it won't be long until the world around us dances in color! 

There is a bit of color that just showed up in my garden! These sweet crocuses are lifting their faces to the sun!

I was so excited to see the warm sunshine, I hung clothes out on the line to dry.
They didn't quite dry all the way and needed about another 10 minutes in the dryer... but it was a start!
That picture was taken last week... all that snow has melted now :) 

I spotted a bluebird on our morning walk! From a distance this picture was taken...
not very clear, but quite exciting to see!

Thinking of my garden, and spending time in it, I decided to make a little garden handmade scrapbook
using pictures from my garden last summer. 

I used a fun Spring scrapbooking kit and made the mini-scrapbook quite quickly.  

A closer look ... 

Our morning walks have been quite foggy, and there is just something so special about the fog,
it makes the ordinary somehow mysterious, shadowy and beautiful. 

Here's a smile for your day! After days of rain, the sun came out.  I came back home after running some errands,
and found these sweet girls along with Mr. Pepper all camped out on my porch sunbathing!
Chickens sunbathe in the funniest positions, it makes me smile to watch them! 

My oregano survived the long winter!  Soon I will be able to cut it and feed it to my chickens.
Oregano is soo good for the girls :) I also dry it and use it in my kitchen.  Love that it returns every year!

Seeds are sprouting and growing rapidly!  This corn is doing great!  I plant three varieties since
 corn needs at least two varieties to pollinate each other.  
My sunflowers are coming right along too! 

We had a rain storm roll through right at sunset and left behind this glorious rainbow! 

I almost was able to capture the entire rainbow in the picture... almost :)  Do you see the faint second rainbow?

Our local herd of elk roaming the canyon hillside close to our home.
I was sad that I didn't have my zoom lens with me to get a better picture! 

A bluebird family has taken up residence in this box I placed last year!  The swallows ran them off last year.
I hope they can claim it for their own this year! 

Evening walks at sunset are glorious!

 Walking is refreshing, not just for the body... but for the soul too!
Seeing a sunrise/sunset a day keeps the doctor away, I do believe :) 

Early morning walks now reveal green sprouting up everywhere!  Hooray! 

Our neighbor's horse, Breeze was enjoying a late evening snack while the skies danced in colorful hues behind her. 

Spring has definitely arrived, and for that, we are very grateful! We managed to escape the late spring snow that so many northern states received last week, and instead only received rain and wind.  I've been busy raking piles of pine needles and picking up the yard from the mess that winter winds leave behind. 

Tonight we had our first bonfire of the season. It felt wonderful to set out our chairs around the campfire and prepare for months of enjoying evening bonfires.

I'm thankful for all the joys that spring brings, and now we await the glorious blooms that will be coming any day.  Right now, I just have crocuses blooming in my garden, but the tulips and daffodils are growing quickly, and their color is greatly anticipated :)

How does spring look in your world?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

March is Out Like a Lamb

My husband remarked today to me that he could hardly believe we were at the end of March. It seems March flew by as we enjoyed many gorgeous days of sunshine here, with some highs up into the 60s, and we began to see much of our snow begin to melt.  Amazingly though, we still have a lot of snow left on the ground, but it is still melting slowly.  They say if March comes in like a lamb, it will leave like a lion or vice versa... if it comes in like a lion, it will leave like a lamb. 

Our first day of March looked like this on our morning walk.... a nippy 8 degrees, frosty and cold!

And like this on our evening walk of March 31 at a mild temperature of 40 degrees....
yes, March has gone out like a lamb here...  :) 

However, on the first day of March, the chickens decided to make a run for it, out of the coop. 
I didn't blame them a bit. It had been a long winter! 

Poor old Mr. Pepper our oldest rooster, he has made it through the winter! 

On this very cold day, the turkeys huddled like this to keep warm.  

One of our very favorite meals is this Chicken Spaghetti, which I often make on cold winter days.  

Always wonderful to see the clouds rolling in billows of color on the horizon. 

I've been working on a little tea-time quilt!  I took a paper piecing quilting class and using nine of the blocks, I am making a table topper quilt.  It is mostly finished now, just the hand quilting left to do.  I will show a picture of the quilt when I finish it.... hopefully in time for a garden tea party :) 

Icy roads in March gently bathed up by the day's last light.

Hoar frost coating the wild rose that blooms in my neighbor's yard. 
Soon... it will be sporting blooms for spring!

As the sun came out and got up to 60 degrees, there was still so much snow, that I couldn't stay inside,
and took the dogs for a snowshoe through our woods. 

It was deep and slow going, but with the 60+ warm temperatures,
it was so much fun snowshoeing in just a light shirt! It was too warm for a coat! 

Riley found something interesting in the snow. 

Annie and Riley... always on alert.... so much to see and investigate in the forest!

Our favorite chocolate chip recipe... variated now, as I do not use shortening any longer, and only real butter.
Years ago when I made them, I always used shortening.  But now... only butter :) 

The trick to perfect chocolate chip cookies is to bake them until they just start to lightly brown, remove them from the oven, and let them cool 2-3 minutes on the pan, and then remove them to cool. 
Crispy on the outside and yummilicious gooeiness on the inside :) 

Since the middle of March, we have had days on end of sunshine! It has been glorious!
You can see the joy on Annie's face... that we are all feeling! No more snow and ice on the roads!

The snowbanks remained quite high after the sunshine began, I could hardly see over the tops of them. 

60+ degrees and enjoying every drop of that gorgeous sunshine!

The March Worm supermoon... it was amazing to see! As the moon set over the river, it was a splendid moment to witness. 

 Out of all the supermoons this year,
this was the only one that we were able to see without cloud cover.
It looked like an orange in the sky!
I always start my seeds after St. Patrick's Day.  With our late and very short growing season, I start most of my seeds indoors. I have used this Garden journal I created back in 2016 to keep a record of my crops each year.  It is a simple composition journal, doesn't have to be fancy, but it works to keep track of your planting schedules and success.

These are my favorite flowers to start indoors.  Some can be sewn directly into the soil, but others need a head start. 

Keeping track of each seed packet and bush/shrub/tree that has been planted, along with results/failures. 

I also have a garden plan, which is pretty basic. 

I mix my seedling soil with a bit of this Organic Bio-Tone Starter.  I find it gives the plants an extra head start. 

On a warm sunny day, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I planted the seeds. 

Then I put a seedling warmer on each rack and mounted the grow lights (I just use regular fluorescent lights or LED lights, I don't find the grow lights are any better than the cheap ones). 

I leave the lights on for 16 hours a day, and off for 8 hours, as plants need to rest as well. 

The snow continues to melt!  Large puddles and little creeks start appearing in the fields.  It is an exciting time to see the ground reclaimed back from the snow!

Indoors, my Parade rose continues to outdo itself! For the first time, it now has 3 blooms appearing! 
This is the rose my husband bought me last year, and it is still blooming away!
I'm amazed because any other indoor roses I've had in the past have never lasted that long! I've been giving it a weekly teaspoon or so of coffee grounds. I think this might be the trick, along with the great light it has in this spot. 

Today March 31... this is still my garden! Much of it still lies buried under the snow blanket.  
But the good news is that along the edges of the garden, the snow has melted,
and look at what is eagerly popping up through the dirt! 

Oh happy day! I will have tulips soon enough :) 

I may not have flower blooms in my garden just yet... but I've started putting back out my glass plate flowers and their cheerful faces will light up the garden until the colorful blooms arrive. 

As my husband and I walked the dogs this evening, the brilliant sunset filled the air with its beauty.  March... in our world anyway... left us silently as a lamb.  How thankful we are for the beauty in our skies... I know many others got unexpected snowstorms this year on the last day of March.  One just never knows what a day may hold. 

So we make the most of it, enjoying the beauty of whatever each day holds for us.  Like my father tells me... there is one thing you can't change... and that is the weather.  Like it or not, there is not much you can do about it, but just make the best of it.  And we are.  We are loving the gorgeous sunshine as it slowly melts the snow, and we are very thankful that the risk of flooding here is low because of the slow snow melt. 

As my garden awakens from its long winter nap, I anticipate blooms any day now from my snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils. The tulips will take a little longer to bloom but will extend the color in my garden until summer arrives.  But we mustn't hurry summer along... we are happy and content right now to just enjoy springtime :)

Blessings to all of you... and let me know how spring looks in your world!  :)