Monday, April 6, 2009

Pastures in the sun

As predicted, winter did come to an end after the usual four or five months of snow. Now with temperatures in the 40s and 50s F, we can sit outside on our bench and watch lambs play in the sun on the bare ground between the snow patches. The ducks are enjoying the vernal pools that have formed everywhere from snow melt. Bits of green growth are starting to appear, such as the many day lilies on our "traffic island" formed by the school bus turnaround that is our driveway.

While all the other animals enjoy the end of winter, husbands are picking up the wreckage in the yards. This year there was so much firewood debris and road gravel on lawns and verges I had to use the York rake on the tractor to get it all raked up efficiently. But I have it all picked up now, and reseeded with clover, the first of the pasturage seeds that can be sown in the spring. Later we'll add some pasture grasses.

Once all the other pens and paddocks are clear of snow and sheep can be moved, we'll rake up the rocks and twigs in the north paddock, spread manure, and reseed there too. This year we can get our pastures and paddocks in good shape, and recoup the investment, because we'll be fencing four new acres to the east. Every other year we've had to graze them too hard. But the upshot is, the old grasses are weak and down to a nubble this spring, which gives the new seed reduced competition. The frost will work in the clover. The new grass seeds, if they follow hard on the heels of the spring rains and just before the last frost, should replace some of the old.

Aimee, meanwhile, is getting on with the plant starts and the greenhouse has occupants for the first time.

I don't have any pictures of these spring activities, but I do have one of two lambs playing king-of-the-hill on top of the water butt cover, and another of Aimee cuddling one of Mollie's twins. These are out of Snorri the stud, pictured below.

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