The Homestead Speaks Spring

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Yesterday was to be Gabe and I’s big day to prepare the gardens and put some finishing touches on several Spring projects outside.  However, the universe it seems had other plans.  With some unexpected truck trouble our plans were postponed.  I think one of the hardest lessons in life is to learn to be flexible when things do not go as planned, it’s also an important reminder that we are not in control.

Even though we were not able to do the garden prep, I enjoyed a warm day here on the homestead.  When I arrived home from Lowes, I made a stop on the way home from work this morning, I was met with the haunting, evil beauty of the red tail hawk.  These three hawks have been terrorizing our homestead.  They have the most haunting calls.  There he was sitting in the tree by where I park my truck watching me come home.  Since the chickens were still in the coop from their night’s sleep, I didn’t have to race down the driveway like a lunatic this time.  As I slowly made my way down the driveway, the hawk and I continued to hold our eye contact.  These birds have such an air of majestic pride about them.

Red Tailed Hawk

(Photo credit: Google Images)

I do understand that they too need to eat, but I would much prefer if they would give up the notion of homestead chicken for lunch.  This warning sign meant the chickens would again be spending the beautiful day in their coop.

After feeding the rest of the crew, I headed inside for some sleep.  And I am sure you will never guess what stirred me from my dreams: The outrageously loud pitter patter of clumsy goat hooves pounding around on the back deck.  I swear, Houidini was expertly named.  As I sleepily looked outside from our top deck, I saw the gang had again escaped, with the girls looking extremely offended they were still locked away while everyone else ran wild.

By the time I trudged outside, the gang was way up in the front of the homestead, about half an acre away.  I called out to them and the goats, Houidini and Ladybug stampeded down to where I was standing.  Our goats, like many goats, have a normal run and then their happy dance run.  This involves them racing as fast as they can, but with these intermintent cheerful kicks to the side with their back legs.  This is what was going on as they made their way to me.  Houidini can run very fast despite his size, his tail sticks straight up in the air like a warning flag when he runs.  He did this and bee-lined toward me.  Poor Lady-Bug and her ever swollen belly, made her way as fast as she could.  As I enticed them all back to the pen with a scoop of feed, everyone but Lady-Bug made it over the ledge on the gate.  She attempted jumping, but was unable to make it on account of her big belly getting stuck on the ledge.  With a little assistance, she finally made her way into the pen.

This week, Gabe and I intend on building a farrowing (birthing) pen out of wood pallets for Lady-Bug and what we assume is her coming farrow (litter) of piglets.  We want her to have a safe place that is out of reach of the goats and Houidini for her to deliver.

As I got news of the vehicle debacle, I opened the door of the house to go and meet my husband and heard a glorious noise I had not heard in months.  It was the “harbingers of spring” or otherwise known as Spring Peeper frogs.  These frogs are one of the first signs that Spring is almost here.  Their mating calls are loud and distinct and begin typically in early March.  At our homestead in the warmer months, these frogs are so loud, we can hear them through the walls with all the windows closed.  I recorded their calls throughout the homestead later that night: Promise of Spring

We also received Princess’ new chicken coop.  With strong teamwork (it definitely took us both) we finished putting it together just as night began to settle in on the homestead.

IMG_0842  IMG_0843  IMG_0844

Why yes, that is a chicken coop in my kitchen.  However, it’s not staying there.  I can’t wait to present it to Princess as a safe haven from all the chicken torture of her flock mates.

Until next time…

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