Tuesday, April 8, 2014

winter's end: snaps

Today.  The garden is nearly free of snow.  We've been digging worms, working up the tomato bed.  The chickens are officially confined to their run for the spring, giving green things a chance to grow.  Robins and Juncos flit about the kids' pinecone feeders.  Daffodils and tulips are shooting up their bold, confident spears.  Spinach, lettuce and kale will go in the ground tomorrow, maybe the next day.  

We left winter, joined a slew of family and friends on the coast, and came home to spring.  Well, almost.  The white stuff is nearly gone.  Nearly.  

I found one of our hens dead in the nest box today.  Hazel lowers her head and says, "Ice-Cream Lollipops died," then she pouts her lower lip out.  Juniper asks, "Where's the blood?  Can I touch her?"  Then we tell that stiff, little chicken body how thankful we were to know her, how much we loved her eggs, how we promise to take good care of her friends...and tears well in Juniper's eyes and her mouth gapes open to that same, silent pre-cry she's had since the moment of her birth, and she wails:  "BUT WHY DID SHE DIE!?  WHY IS OUR CHICKEN FRIEND DEAD!?  WHAAAAAAA!"           

Juniper's natural inclination was to build the dead chicken her own house, "A die house." I explained that we often bury our dead loved-ones deep into the earth.  Juniper said, "Yeah!  And we'll put a stick there so everyone knows it means, 'Don't Dig Here.'"  
:: Okay, okay.  More recent stuff to come.  Real quick tonight: winter pics from late February and March that never made it to the sphere.  Cheers to the sphere.    

:: Snowy swinging.  
:: Meeting friends,
To watch the next Olympic sport?  
:: One of my last skis of the season.  
:: Dug our over-wintered carrots and kale.  The carrots were crisp, fresh, spicy and worth far fewer calories than what it took to dig them out.  Still exciting: the first time I've successfully over-wintered carrots.  The kale was all smooshed, but is now in the process of growing fresh leaves.  Yum!  March garden goodness in zone 3, yee-ha!  
:: Melting snow = happy chickens,
Prolific chickens,
Adventurous chickens.
^The one closest to the doorway is now in a box in our garage.  Poor girl.^
:: Weirdly, my favorite part about getting fresh milk: skimming the cream off the top.  I love always having cream available, but mostly, I find a zen-like meditation in the skimming (for a whole 53 seconds, but still).  Chop wood, carry water.  Indeed.  
:: First time bowling with buddies.  (And sporting mama-knit vests.)    
Hazel trying to keep up with the big girls.
:: Home repair projects with "Jake and Ira,"  Juniper's alter-egos for my man and J-bug (she's Ira).  
:: Jake and Ira also set up the kids' work bench.  (Thanks Nana.)
Then made a sail boat. 
Later, Juniper watercolored:  
:: My man's latest exercise routine--when he's not busy being Jake. 
:: Hazel's photo.  Love the perspective. 
:: First large, framed photo of the kids.  Shutterfly was offering a free 16 x 20 that I couldn't pass up.  So, so, so happy with it.  I should have done this ages ago.  
This photo was taken on the front porch of a historic house in the tiny town of Monterey, Virginia.  I love the candid spontaneity, the weeds growing in the cracks, Juniper's filthy shoes and socks from playing in damp grass.  
Okay spring.  Bring it on.  


  1. Sorry about your hen. We lost one earlier this winter, its never easy.
    Kale was looking at your pictures with me, and noticed you have the same tile and floor mats in your entry. Good taste.

  2. aw love it when your post come! I love it all but i have to say i'm soooo impressed you grew veges in all that snow!


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