Wednesday, February 26, 2020

November Hill farm journal, 92

Rain every few days has really thrown my outdoor projects off course, but I’ve made a start on clearing the pollinator beds of winter growth. I left the plants as they were through the winter season so birds, insects, and other wildlife could have seed heads and shelter. A lot of the plants have nice visual appeal with interesting textures through the winter.

For the past 3 days I’ve spent some time while the dogs are romping to begin the cutting back and removing of the winter detritus. Since we have two brush piles in close proximity to the pollinator beds, I was able to put the cuttings on top, where birds and insects can still use them if needed.

Once I began cutting back I could more easily see the giant bloom of purple crocuses - lovely color with their bright green stems! And the daffodils are still going. Most of the pollinators are already leafing out at their bases, and I have a big job of transplanting goldenrod once I get things cleared out.

This week I’ll finish the clearing, and once we get some sunshine and things dry out a bit, I’ll order mulch to top off all the beds and plantings. It will be easy up front, but those things planted in Poplar Folly will take several trips with the wheelbarrow.

I also cleaned out one of the main drainage ditches that we created to help with the water run-off. It was full of very wet leaves. As the ditch got clean, the dogs got dirty! For some reason they love to walk along the wet ditches and as soon as I had it clear, all three dogs trotted over and made their way from beginning to end. Thankfully we have enough winter grass on the wildflower strip to clean them up a bit before we came inside. In retrospect, I should have held off on vacuuming and mopping floors until AFTER this farm romp!

During some of the yuckier rain time, I stayed inside and sketched out my new beds. The pollinator bed on the other side of the driveway will hopefully make big leaps this spring. I planted it in the fall, and everything has had the winter to develop strong root systems. I can’t wait to see what comes up and how it does. I also sketched out the potager plan. I need to get cracking with creating beds in there next week. I’ve decided to start the potager with mounded beds using some logs we have on hand, but not formal raised beds made with wood. I’d like to get a sense of how things do there before putting a lot of time into building wooden beds. We’ll see how it goes.

This week was a good one for writing time. For whatever reason, things kicked into high gear. I submitted my 12k short story, as well as 2 essays to 5 new places, reworked another essay for submission today. Gray wet mornings translate to good writing time, it seems.

The horses and pony and donkeys are dealing with the mud that is the dirt paddock. Thankfully I can feed them through the well-drained arena to the back pasture, which is sloped enough that it never gets too muddy. I try not to overuse it when we have these rainy stretches, but it’s a dance - any place all those hooves go in and out of is bound to be muddy in short order. Today the sun is supposed to come out as we hit 70 degrees and then a cold front moves through to bring us back down to 40s. I see a week of sunshine on the weather forecast and oh, do we need it.

For now, the fog is lifting, skies are still gray, and it’s definitely damp out. I think we’re all wishing for sunshine but until it comes through the clouds, I’ll be happily submitting my true tale of light being stolen. I’ll link here if/when it gets accepted for publication!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Even with the rain you're busy and getting things done. So consider yourself ahead of the game and enjoy the sunshine when it shows up!

billie said...

It’s here! Day two of sunshine and blue skies - oh how wonderful to take the dogs out and come back in mud-free! :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

Just a quick drive by to wish you a Happy Birthday!🌈🎂🍹🍨🎁🎈🎉. Have a great day 😉!!!

billie said...

Oh, thank you so much! :)