Bit by Bit, Signs of Spring

Spring has snuck up on me a bit. Last year I had seeds spouting by April 10th. This year my beds aren’t ready, the compost isn’t screened yet, and I haven’t stuck a single seed in the ground. Oops!

I’m still having fun heading outside each day to spend some moments on one garden task or another.

Here’s the compost screening in progress (first step is to lay it out on a tarp to dry):

The beds that are at least weeded:

The herb spiral attempt:

I don’t like how the spiral was coming out, so I’m going to try a tiered box instead. I’m sure I’ll update on that if/when it happens. I have to cart away all the bricks first.

The strawberry bed that should make fruit this year:

The abandoned duck pond that’s now turned into quite a habitat for spring frogs:

The beautiful sign my friend Sara painted that now graces our front porch:

Spring 2012: Sheep

Spring has sprung! No doubt about it. Once again, The Wallow is awash in babies and to-do lists that grow with the lengthening days. This week I’ve planned a few posts to tally up where we’re starting from this spring.

First up, sheep!

We’ve had sheep for right at a year now. We originally bought a ram (Buck), two ewes (Big Mama and Mary), and the ewes’ babies, a ram lamb (Jake) and a ewe lamb (Baby Jeebus). Buck got injured right off the bat, and one time the sheep all escaped. The escape adventure ultimately led to Joshua (and friends) installing an electric perimeter fence around our whole property. In June, Jake went off to slaughter, and then in July Baby Jeebus unexpectedly died during the heat wave. That left us down to three sheep, but life goes on, and in September, Jeebus 2 was born, then February brought two more lambs, Fuzzy and Wuzzy. Mary appears to be late in a pregnancy again, which means she got pregnant almost immediately after the troubles with Buck back in November. We now have 6 sheep, with another one on the way.

UPDATE: I wrote this post on Friday, but then Saturday Mary gave birth to two lambs! We have 8 sheep now! Pictures of the newborns are at the bottom of the post.

On Friday, the sheep got let out onto grass for the first time this year, which we captured on video:

And some lovely photos by Joshua:

This image is taken from above while Mary licks her first newborn clean:

Next time I peeked into the barn, surprise! Two babies!

We now have a ram, two ewes, three ram lambs, and two ewe lambs. One of the lambs is destined for our freezer, and at least 3 of the other lambs will be for sale at some point. For now, we have a lovely flock of 8, and we’re especially enjoying having so many babies at once, because they frolic together in the new spring pasture. So cute!

April Flowers

I took a walk around The Wallow this week to capture all the amazing flowers I’m seeing these days. Walking through my field gives me happy feelings!

The orange in the background is the sheep fence.

These are probably my favorite.

Can't leave out dandelions!

Almost Spring 2011

It’s almost spring at The Wallow!

Here’s the last of this year’s wood stash:

If we were to use that up, it would be right around three cords that we used this winter.

Here’s the view out to the west of the house:

When it’s really spring, that will all be covered in lush greenness.

Here are the raspberry canes we transplanted last fall:

I’m watching with anticipation to see if they made it and start putting up new growth.

Just an Update

Just some quick notes about what’s been going on with me this week:

1) The photo is just a random one of me that I like.

2) I had my 13 week ultrasound on Tuesday, and there’s still a baby in there with a heartbeat and everything. I think I’m officially excited now!

3) Yesterday, I did my legal name change, and it all went smoothly. I still have the long process of changing over everywhere that my old name exists, but the government and I now agree on what my name is! Yay!

4) I went to Atlanta this past weekend to go to a couple of parties, and I was miserable for much of the trip. Pregnancy-induced sobriety makes me hate interacting with people even more than usual, so the weekend was really hard. I felt guilty for not being very friendly, since it’s not their fault I’m grumpy.

5) I’ve been researching sheep raising, because we’re planning to add sheep to The Wallow in the spring. I’m starting to get a handle on the whole idea and starting to really look forward to adding these animals to my life.

6) I currently have 10 books checked out from the library and am reading three of them at once and trying to review several of them to post about here. Plus I’m doing all this pregnancy-related research and sheep-related research, and I feel very mentally busy right now.

Okay, that’s it. What’s up with you this week?

A Year At The Wallow

Joshua and I moved into the Wallow sometime in October 2009, so it’s just now been one year here. I was driving up to the house the other day and thinking to myself how much I still love it. I’m prone to boredom and used to moving around a lot. It’s easy for me to fall in love with a place and just as easy for me to lose interest. The Wallow still delights me every single day, though, in every single way. Here’s a look at the seasons of the last year from around the Wallow.

When we moved in in the fall of 2009, the place had been unoccupied for a couple of years and was quite overgrown!

But Joshua turned out to LOVE mowing, so that was over pretty quickly.

Here’s me seeding the field, turning it into pasture for the pigs we would get in the spring:

And I spent a lot of time those first couple of months marveling at all the little bits of nature I could find:

A beautiful view of winter out the west side of the house:

And then the full bloom of spring 2010:

Spring brought Hampie and Yorkie to us, too, who were just tiny little pigs in March.

In July we got the chickens:

And by July the pigs were BIG!

I’ve taken my hammock down for the winter, but added an iron daybed to the porch instead, for breezy fall napping (picture stolen from Joshua, here):

It’s definitely fall again, a whole year gone by at the Wallow. It’s been a fantastic year, and I’m ready to start another one.