Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring in Our Backyard

Growing up in Florida, I never truly appreciated how much fun spring could be. Even in North Florida, spring is just the two weeks where everything blooms beautifully before the heat of summer sets in and everything turns resolutely green again. Here, spring takes place at a more leisurely pace. A few steps forward, a few steps back, flowers and greenery unfold week after week. First came the daffodils and cherry blossoms, now come the tulips and apple blossoms, yet to come are my wisteria and lilac bushes. It's a joy to watch life unfold!

Caleb certainly agrees. He loooves watching all the activity going on in our front and back yards. Nothing is better than when the giant squirells tempt him by coming right up onto our back porch before dashing off up a tree. He runs over to the window anytime the birds start squabbling, which is often.

One of our resident squirrels

For those who have been following the on-going bird drama this year...The little finches have reclaimed their nest as the big birds who were trying take over were apparently migratory and only needed it for temporary housing. They seem thrilled to be back and are happily restuffing every scrap of leaf and grass into their already full space.

Mrs. Robin has laid two eggs and spends most of her time sitting on the nest, especially on the few days when the temps have dipped back down into freezing. I'm spending more time with the curtains in the kitchen closed out of respect for the job she's doing. I can't wait to see the little chicks hatch! Mr. Robin has made peace with the window once again, though I'm not naive enough anymore to expect it to last : )

Roosting just outside the kitchen window under the wisteria
Some of you may remember our dismal garden fail last year. Long story short, we dug up the grass, added furrows, dropped seeds on top of the completely unworked, unfertilized furrows, dropped a little top soil on them and hoped something would grow. Amazingly, adorable little lettuce plants and carrot heads sprouted and grew into tiny baby greens which I thinned out and enjoyed in a (very small) salad.

Things went down hill from there. First it was a hail storm. And then a second one. Nickle sized peices of hail pummeled our yard, not once, but twice. I was sure our garden was doomed. Amazingly it survived both onslaughts. What it did not survive was the great bunny attack of June 2011. After our resident bunny nibbled every single stalk of lettuce and carrot head, we decided that sometimes you just have to know when to give up. And give up we did.

This fall, David built me these beautiful raised beds in hopes of keeping the bunny out. We filled them with horse and chicken manure from a friends farm, along with several giant bags of our fall leaves and let it mature over winter. A couple weeks ago I planted, and a hail storm predictably followed. Fortunately my seeds are still safely underground and the hail pieces were pea-sized this time. We are looking at this year as a learning experience and look forward to seeing what grows!)

Something was already growing in our compost pile! A giant green onion.

David breaking up the manure before adding top soil.

Caleb is fascinated.

Planting. Caleb is sneakily trying to water the garden with his sippy cup.

Helping Daddy clear out another garden area while mommy plants.

Craft-stick and permanent marker labels. Sacrificial spinach planted to see if our bunny can reach.

1 comment:

Stephanie Cunningham said...

I know how you feel! I remember calling home during our first home here and practically yelling at my family "why didn't anyone ever tell me that Spring actually exists and is so AWESOME!?"

Your comment about following the bird drama made me laugh out loud...oh the little things that keep life interesting...