Monday, April 20, 2009

Winter has Gone!

April Snow Showers!
Now it's gone (the winter) and the weather has finally turned warm, I can look back at winter's last kick in the teeth and laugh! So the cold and wet weather has given way to warm and wet, and our ground water level is probably at a pretty healthy level after this winter. In the self-sufficiency stakes that is a big whoop, as getting a good first hay cutting depends on a decent initial soaking. And while it is nice to have a good second, or even third cut, getting the majority of our hay in the first one is a great relief. Although the pastures are coming in nicely, we now have a number of muzzled horses (Cushings and insulin resistant) who can't be on grass and need, therefore, to be fed hay through the summer. Luckily we did well last year, and will actually have some bales to spare by the time we come to cut.
I now only need a summer photo to complete the "Four Seasons" photos of the dogwood.

So what of the farm life here at Triskelion. Well Priscilla seems to have gone into reverse, but may still be on time for an end of April, beginning of May delivery. She is looking much better than when we first had her, shiny hair and much improved shape, though milk production hasn't started yet. Bessie and Rosebud have shown few signs of pregnancy but, equally, don't appear to be going into heat either, so we hope that the AI has taken. That will put us around November, not the best time to freshen, but they should be well established before the really cold weather starts.

Priscilla and Bessie
We have four new pullets, Americana/Buff Orpington crosses, which should provide us with green eggs to go with our current blue ones from one of the Araucanas. Next Easter we won't have to paint eggs to be festive!
For ease of maintenance, we have moved the vegetable garden plots nearer to the house and will have a wide variety of veggies to show for our labors! More on the outcome as the growing season progresses - what works, or doesn't and what gets shared with the critturs. In addition we have had a general tidying up around the front of the house, removing old bushes and the ever present ivy, plus new beds and walkways, which will make for a more picturesque garden, with some of the features of our much loved yard at the farmhouse in Orlean.