Thursday, February 18, 2010
I'm going to go ahead and call it: Today was the first day of spring in Bellingham, WA. The mercury got up to 58 degrees and the sky was bright blue without a hint of cloud. When I got into my car in the afternoon, it was actually hot. I saw no fewer than three girls in short-shorts (although this IS a university town).
My snap peas are coming up. They are at the "bow" stage - a loop of stem is visible above the dirt but no leaves are up. Radishes have also germinated. The goats are looking very extremely pregnant. The roosters are leaping on the hens with mad abandon. Ornamental fruit trees are in bloom - very nearly full bloom.
My own fruit trees are not near blooming yet - I'd say two weeks, even with continued warm weather. That's fine by me - I don't want a late frost to kill the blossoms and destroy the harvest. Ha Ha - I say "late frost" in mid February. That's not really very funny, but I've decided I'm going to laugh instead of lay awake freaking out.
I opened up my (secondhand) beehives and have started to clean out the dead bees and scrape down the frames. The bees I ordered are arriving in April, so I want everything ready ahead of time. I'm not sure what I need to do with the hives - some of the frames are moldy. If I were to follow my instinct I'd scrape those down to the wood and treat them with boiling water or a propane torch. But I just don't know.
Right now the hives are in the Mama Barn, and I need to get them out of there before the goats are due to deliver, because they take up most of the space. I'm not even sure when the goats are due - if the buck I rented is the papa, then they aren't due until mid April. However, Iris at least looks ready to pop way before then. Her udder is pretty big, her belly is gigantic, and her spine is looking pretty prominent around the tailbone. Oh well - Iris is an experienced mama and has given birth without trouble twice before now. If she gives birth out in the field I don't doubt she will do fine and take care of her kids.
I'm glad it's spring, even if it's frighteningly early. I really enjoyed being out today, digging in the dirt, herding the goats and the ponies around, and generally enjoying myself in the sun. If my brother can call the first day of spring as the day his baseball team reports for spring training, then surely I can report the first day of spring as the day my daffodils opened.