the thing about spring

Posted on Posted in food and garden, projects

wow, that was fast! i have sprouts already in the garden, can you believe it?
i mean, they just went in on saturday; that’s what—four days, maybe?

of course all the rain we’re having may have something to do with it, haha—we are quite waterlogged here. so much so that i was a little worried that some of the seeds would get swept away, or pushed up to the surface where the birds could get them.

everything is sprouting all at once, in fact—at least the more shallow sowing is; the potatoes aren’t up yet. i’ve got collards and turnips in solidly-formed rows, and there are cracks all along the bean and chard rows as well, which means that in a few hours, we should be able to see leaflets (maybe even by the time this post is written).

ETA: leaflets showing in chard and beet rows now, woo-hoo

look at those tiny green rapini stems just beginning to poke out—i just love catching them at this stage. i’m like a little giddy girl over it, haha, because i really just went out there to make sure we still had seeds in the ground (the birds and squirrels are having a field day, digging into things).

speaking of squirrels, they will NOT keeping their frickin’ little paws off of my shallots. it’s just that one thing, but they keep digging up the bulbs and then tossing them aside, probably once they get a whiff of that oniony/garlicky odor. i think i’ll sprinkle some cayenne pepper over the top of that soil when i’m done here to see if that will shoo them away . . .

now, i’ve been knitting furiously all week on secret projects and working on getting this pile of bookkeeping under control (heh, with not very successful results, i’m afraid). so i don’t have knitting photos to share.


i have also been very diligent this spring about getting my hour of exercise each day, so i do have something nice to share from today’s ride.
(actually, i’ve spring fever really bad and with all the work i have on my desk, i cannot possibly indulge it, except for this one hour a day. so i’m taking full advantage of the exercise excuse, haha)

i may have mentioned this before, but the swans that live along one of my frequently-traveled routes have new babies. i didn’t get to photograph them earlier, but today, i managed to get close enough for some family portraits.

well, i pulled over to the side of the road and as soon as i dropped my bike, the male starts marching over

he just wanted to put something between me and the family; he wasn’t spitting or threatening and i was as respectful as i knew how to be.

so he gave me a view of his good side, haha. you can see the nest in the background, with mama standing close by.

after a bit i moved very slowly around the side and up the gravel path next to the pond, while the male watched. i wanted to get a better view if they would allow it.

in the nest, everyone’s neck goes up as mama sends warning signals.

they settled down a bit so i took another step forward

but that’s where mama drew the line . . . she didn’t like this development at all

into the water she went, rousing the clan to follow

which they did. i wish all kids listened so well, don’t you?

off they swam to a safer distance (and wow, five babies this year!).

leaving me and daddy in a staring contest of sorts, heh.

i’ll try to get pictures periodically as they grow; i know it won’t be long before they are much bigger and looking lots more like their parents.

across the street, there is another small pond and this year there are black swans over there. i haven’t been close enough to them to get pictures yet, but i’m working on it . . .

see what i mean? fast.

16 thoughts on “the thing about spring

  1. I love when I get a chance to take photos of swan families. Last summer, I was on my kayak and came across a group, and just like with your papa swan, he put himself between me & the family so they could take cover in the reeds. I got a few pics, but dad wasn’t going to let me get too close.

  2. Wow, your garden is going to be magnificient this year, Anne. You’ve got the touch.

    Love the swan pictures. They make up for no project pictures : )

  3. Spring has sprung! I love the pictures of the swans, too – what a great view on your daily ride. And I can’t wait to see those secret projects when the time comes 🙂

  4. Ooohhh…I LOVE those baby swans…jow lucky for you to have them so close by. 🙂

    I think it may actually be warm and dry enough to plant here this weekend…yay!

  5. You make me wish for a larger garden…even my small space is rewarding, but I help to keep local farmers markets in business. The swan photos are magical. Thanks!

  6. Love the swans! and i actually have a 3 day weekend coming up so i’ll be setting up my garden soon….planting the seedlings and getting some lettuce going…can’t wait!

  7. A couple of years ago a pair of swans built their nest right on the side of a busy road near me – all the cars had to slow down because of the warning signs put there. Once the cygnets hatched, some brave soul moved the nest away from the road a little way, otherwise I don’t think the babies would have survived. How great that your seedlings are popping up already. I grew some beans and peas with the kids in my class, and you would never believe the excitement as they came in to check on their seeds each day!

  8. Wow! It sure makes you understand what they mean by “Spring Bursting Forth”, doesn’t it? It’s just so darn gratifying to watch something you have prepared and planted responding so well.
    Swans are my favorite. They are so beautiful and so graceful. I think you should design something relating to the swans. But aren’t the babies just the best? No ugly ducklings there – that’s for sure!

  9. Swans! There’s a pond right behind my townhouse, and we have ducks and geese, and accompanying ducklings and goslings, but no swans – they’re so pretty!

  10. As to your squirrel problem, when I worked at Hicks Nursery on Long Island, we used to tell people to spread down dried sheep’s blood. It’s available in a powdered form in the garden center and is normally used to add nitrogen to the soil to feed the plants. The smell of the blood tips off small prey animals that a predator has killed in that area and hence, they stay away, plus you are still feeding your plants. You may have to reapply after heavy rains but a periodic dusting usually works. This keeps bunnies out of the garden too. Not sure if you’re a vegetarian or if that would go against your gardening rules but I thought I’d tell you anyhow. Also, keeping a goose is a good way to keep slugs at bay. Geese LOVE slugs. just saying. 🙂

  11. I had to laugh when I saw the title of this piece. It hasn’t been spring in FL in a month…..already been 93! Ugh!

  12. I love the swan series. That’s really such a great way to share your experience, much better than a ‘picture of a swan’. Thank you!

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