Looking out over a fully-planted garden, with a weather forecast indicating a pleasing combination of warm, sunny days, and adequately-spaced spring rains. Seeing the seed-heads start to emerge from the winter-planted grains, when you had feared a bad spate of winter-kill. Finishing preparations for your chickens with more than a few days to go before the chicks are delivered. Noticing that your fruit trees have set fruit—including the cherry trees you just planted last autumn.
Happiness is not:
Listening to anybody deny climate change. At this point, it’s not simply staring us in the face, it’s actively hitting us, harder and harder, about the head and shoulders. Soon enough, it’ll pick up a stick or two, and proceed to using them for the beatings.
The weather has (finally?) turned the corner, and outside things are the way to go. We’ve been involving the kids in as much as possible, both to increase the “hands available” (and ease up the pressure on my wife and I), and to give them valuable experience/training that will hopefully serve them well in the future. Some of that experience includes the knowledge that it’s not easy—each little bit of self-sufficiency you can wring out of life will take you a fair amount of effort, but grant you a corresponding degree of freedom.
One of my favorite evening activities, weather permitting, is sitting outside and watching the bats (as best I can—they’re fast, and if they’re out, it’s getting dark). We’ve a small colony somewhere not far off, probably of brown bats. They eat quite the number of insects, which I’ll count as a good thing. (I hope to start keeping bees next year or the year after; as long as they leave each other alone, it’s all good.) What they don’t get, however, are the ground-based insects. The ticks, in particular, seem bad this year. We keep the dogs well-supplied with anti-tick-and-flea meds, so there hasn’t been a problem there (yet—we’re still keeping a close eye, there), but I’ve probably found a dozen or so crawling on me in the last two weeks. Only three have started to bite, thus far, and they didn’t get down below the top layer of skin; I’d like to keep it that way, and don’t know of a good way. (Yes, the chickens will keep their number down in the areas we let them roam—but I’m spending a fair amount of time at the edge of the woods, and my wife doesn’t want to let them out, down there.)
Then there’s the poison ivy. I do wish there was a better way to dispose of it (aside from goats, which we’ll have eventually—they’re probably two or three years off) than to “nuke” them chemically; but given its location, combined with the planned events of the summer, application of something seems to be the way to go. Fortunately, there’s not much of it to be found around the homestead.
So, right now things are going in “grow, grow, grow, maintain, maintain, maintain” mode; before very much time at all, it’ll be “save, save, save, preserve, preserve, preserve” time. I hope next week to start going over equipment again. What say ye, my readers?