Sunday, May 01, 2022

November Hill farm journal, 152

 A busy week on November Hill. Clementine only has four days to go until her staples are removed. We have the routine down at this point, still keeping her separate from the Corgis to avoid the excited play that  she and Baloo do when together. She’s now taking walks on leash out on the larger farm again, and I’m starting to cut back on the calming meds to wean her off them. We’ve actually needed them more the past few days than initially, as her healing has progressed and her energy getting high again. But overall she’s doing very well and we’re so happy about that!

I got the veggies planted in the potager this week, and used my electric weed-eater to tidy up a bit. We also now have a blackberry trellis and vines planted, and I’m hoping to put in a blueberry bush soon. We have two blueberry bushes in the back yard that I’d transplant if they weren’t so large. The potager is a nice place to sit and relax in the mornings and late in the day. 

The pollinator beds and the bird haven area are all growing like mad. I did some tidying in the bird haven yesterday and last week removed more goldenrod and rattlesnake master to transplant to another area. The upper bed by the garage is much tidier now but I still have work to do. Our load of mulch was delivered and that’s the next chore to be done this week. I love this long view of the baptisia in the upper bed, with the layers of beds flowing out beyond. The upper bed, lower bed, then across the driveway to the front bed, the walkway strip, and if you look all the way to the birdhouse in the distance that’s the very front bed along this line. Over to the far left out of the photo is another line of developing beds - a naturalized area with paw-paw trees and other perennials, the shade bed, and then further down the driveway, the second shade bed. The long “wildflower” strip beyond that is remaining naturalized, though I did plant some turk’s hat lilies along the wooded edge - will see how they do. 

Poplar Folly needs a lot of work right now. Chickweed is taking over and while I know it will die back soon, if it isn’t pulled up it will just be worse next spring. So a big chore this week is to remove the chickweed in there and to remove any poison ivy that might be coming up. Thanks to my farm helper most of the poison ivy is removed on our farm, but every year it tries to come back. Getting it before it gets too entrenched is the key to keeping it away. A note about poison ivy though - it is an important native pollinator for bees! Apparently in the untouched forest, it grows high into the trees and blooms in early spring, and some say the big nectar flow here is actually poison ivy vs tulip poplar. I am not interested in removing it beyond the perimeter fencing on our property, but inside that we do remove it, as I have become very sensitive to it the past few years. 

In the apiary this week we have a new nuc. Because scout bees are intently checking out the empty Callisto hive box, we’re installing the new nuc into a new hive box which I’ve named Atalanta. So we’ll have Hegemone, Mnemosyne, Callisto, Atalanta, Echo, and Artemis after we install today. 

There’s no photo but our farm helper used a machete and weed-eater to clear the very fast-growing grass in Arcadia. Now that this initial cut is done, we’ll just maintain the area around each hive, keep the inkberry hollies clear of grass, and keep a perimeter path clear. But the remainder will be allowed to grow through the summer so all the wildflowers can come in and provide forage for the bees. We also needed to clear the area along the boundary fence not shown here so we can plant the crossvines there. 

Yesterday we had a very special celebration - my daughter’s birthday. She’s one of the joys of my life and we’ve created an annual lemur cake tradition to mark her special day.

Another joy is my mom, who at 88 and after a broken femur has recuperated so well. I hope I am as beautiful and happy as she is in another 30 years!

Today my husband is mouse-proofing Delphine, our camper. We’ve had some mice coming in and we’ve been humane trapping them and relocating until we could get the materials on hand to some closing up of entryways. I need to do a post on Delphine’s updates that were done last fall. She had the blackwater toilet and tank removed and now has an amazing composting toilet. This spring/early summer I’ll be working to replace the mini-blinds with curtains and getting new cushion covers to brighten her up a bit. I’d like to get to removing all or at least some of the upper bunk - was thinking remove entirely but then saw a video on a way to remove part and leave a shelf going around the wall, which means you don’t end up with the inevitable nail holes where it attaches. This will be a bigger project but it will make the lower bed so much more open and accessible. The projects never end. 

Our cold spell ends today and we’re back to the mid-80s. The herd enjoyed the break from this early heat but thankfully their barn and their fans keep them comfortable on these hot days. Which reminds me of one more spring project we’d like to do. I’d like to install a shelf along the feed room upper wall so we can put the third large fan up there, facing toward the donkeys/pony stall. They get a breeze through the open stall doors usually but this will create a nice steady flow of air for them. 

I’m bringing this to a close before I come up with any more “things to do.” Time for some breakfast and then onward into the day. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter! Love the cake. So good to hear your mom is doing so well too. Clementine will be so happy to get her staples out and be reunited with her playmates.

We've been doing our Spring projects too and almost have the list completed. The hay clean up was really the worst of it and took two full days and lots of tractor work. Which J. did, I'm the ground crew. Got the garden beds ready for planting, it's still a bit cold up here to plant yet. There's just too many projects and not enough time...but you knew that right?

billie said...

Haha re: too many projects, not enough time… :))) I think we are on the same radar screen, our lines moving and moving and never quite getting to the wild blue yonder space. :)