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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mud Season

Early signs of Spring are finally here! Those teasing glimpses aren't yet those pretty peaking crocuses or flash of the first bluebirds. It is when the lawn and gardens are finally exposed again, the snow has turned to mud and I can gaze out at all the clean up to be done.

Branches and twigs are everywhere, needing to be collected for next years kindling before the mowing can begin.

Broken, trailing tree limbs need to be pruned before they rip down the tree any farther.

The grass is a beaten down mess along the paths we shoveled to get to the necessary areas like the barn, birdfeeders, and driveway. The grass always seems to repair itself which is a wonder in itself of how tough a lawn can be.

Scattered stones from the snow plow need to be raked back into the driveway where they belong.

Evidence of having dogs is now quite obvious. At least I know they're staying in their own yard to do their business. We have an underground fencing system which I know is working and try to pay attention to keeping fresh batteries in the dogs' collars. But it so easy to just let them out and not pay full attention to what they are doing.

Today the winds will reach 50-60 mph which to us means the dogs suddenly have found so many new toys to drag around...trash can lids, buckets, battered Christmas decorations. All stuff from who knows where it came from.

I tell the family it's all in the name of exercise. Bend, bend and bend those knees again! Somehow they don't see the humor in that and still prefer going nowhere on the treadmill.

What I am anxious to do now that the snow is gone is walk around and take cuttings from the Pussy Willow trees and Forsythia bushes. Putting them in vases and watch for them to open their sleepy buds is so welcome.

I love to wander around the garden areas and watch for the first peak of green from the garlic and start scoping out this years layout.

Though considered pesky weeds to many people, I look forward to those early edible and medicinal plants. When I start bringing those early tender greens of plantain, chickweed, dandelion and violets to our guinea pig, he is in his glory. Those who are familiar with the sounds of an excited guinea pig can appreciate the humor in that.

Those early greens have been sought out by people for eons for their cleansing and nutritional benefits after a long winter of heavier foods. Young nettle leaves, dandelions and wild garlic are so very good for you. To say the least they add interest to your salads. Chickweed has the reputation for helping with the battle of losing those extra pounds put on over the Winter months.

Have to get out there, the bird feeders are empty and I can hear the chickens squawking. The dogs are ready to come in and we're back to wiping muddy paws and underbellies.
When I have to switch my head gear from my hood to my brimmed hat, then I know there is no turning back, Spring is really on its way.

Two more neat treasuries to check out!