When I returned from working in New York this week, it looked like someone had taken a paintbrush to the landscape, adding color on top of color. The grass is greener (and taller), one forsythia is in bloom, with the others close behind, and daffodils are coming rapidly. Pointed red tips of peonies push through the dried ends of last year’s plant, and the crab apple has leaves the size of mouse ears, with even tinier buds.
In New York many trees are already flowering, along with quince and large swaths of daffodils which have been planted liberally in all the parks. Usually New York is far ahead of us—we seem to be in a cold pocket here in Foster, but I think we’re not far behind this year. The bees have found the crocuses and we’ve been giving them sugar water to supplement their minimal food supply because they are so busy.
This past week, Cherisse turned over our kitchen compost (which had been piled too thickly with food scraps and not enough “brown manure,” like leaves). She has also been raking and cleaning up the detritus winter left behind. The chickens follow in her wake, finding the tiniest bugs and grubs and turning over every inch of dirt (without discrimination). The Dominique has returned to her rock pile to lay her eggs, and now a Rhode Island Red escapes through a hole in the fence each morning to lay her’s between two stacks of firewood. She has been coming back in through the same hole, except for this morning when we saw her in the driveway, happily pecking. Our egg counts have been low and we’re suspicious that other hens might have found new places to lay their eggs.
Nature sped up her clock and all we can do is hope we don’t have a killing frost.