How's that for a title?! Yeah, I thought so too.
We're now a month into Spring, and the place is finally starting to look a bit tidy and a bit like something is happening. During the Winter months with the shorter days it's dark by knock-off time, so I get nothing done around the place during the week. Once Spring rolls around, and especially when Daylight Savings starts, there's at least an hour or two of sunshine & gloaming after 5pm that can be spent in the yard, so I get something done nearly every day.
Most of the long grass has been slashed for mulch, only the rocky hill to go, and a lot of the fruit trees have been weeded and mulched. Speaking of fruit trees, the cherry, pears, quinces and plums are all in glorious flower, and the apples are getting close. The almonds are developing a fair crop of fruit for once, so as long as we can keep the birds off them we might actually get some.
The glasshouse is chock-a-block with seedlings, waiting for the last frosts (or our best guess). Some of the new beds are prepared and almost ready to go, properly surrounded with hardwood. I need to get out to the block and collect some more timber to continue with that particular project, but unfortunately the ute I was borrowing from time to time has had a run in with a big kangaroo, so is no longer available. That's a situation I'm really going to need to work on, as there is so much stuff out at the block that needs to be moved, and lack of transport seriously limits the scavenging opportunities a fellow can avail himself of.
We've had somewhere around 15 chicks over the last few weeks, 5 hatched out by a bantam, and I'm pretty sure we've got 10 left out of 12 or so eggs that hatched in the incubator. Not a bad start to the year, and we'll be trading some incubator time with another gentleman for a couple of chooks of different breeds.
Something that really needs to be put on the to-do list is an alteration of the chicken house. The raised floor idea is nice in principle, but it makes all management operations a PITA, even mucking out the pen, which was the original prime motivation for going down that path. The question is whether to build another nearby and move the chooks to that, then disassemble the old one, or to try and retrofit the old one by removing the raised floor.
We've planted what seems like a squillion trees, though it's probably nowhere near that number, the highlight (for me) being that the front hedge is finally underway with elms, grape and a couple of odd trees for a dash of spice (quince and lilac). The DW has planted out a fair raft of stuff up on the rocky hill, and we've even reclaimed the small lawn out the back from the oversized trampoline and put in a (yet another) quince and a ginkgo. The wild hops has also been planted next to one of the box elders, and my birthday mulberry is in the outer chicken run where it's excess fruit will one day contribute to the chook system.
Here's Lilly, Lil, LillyPilly or #@&*! Mongrel, depending on her behaviour at the time (the latter being reserved for special occasions such as when she chewed our first ginkgo tree off just above ground level a couple of days after planting it.) A gorgeous border collie x coolie who can already leap our fences in a single bound.
December 2013 Open thread
1 day ago