Friday, April 22, 2016

A Dry Spring

We're having a very dry spring this year. The vernal pond which last year held water all summer and fall is almost dry. I'm afraid the salamander and frog population will suffer but that's nature's way.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Start of New Families

The nest boxes that I have scattered around the farm are becoming homes.  First to claim a box are the Bluebirds.  I have two boxes with eggs in so far. The parents are proving to be camera shy so I don't have any pics of them just their eggs.

I've been busy building a new chicken coop and limb grafting apple trees so I haven't gotten a chance to check many of my Chickadee boxes which are located back in the woods away from the orchards. The one that I did check on this morning held a nice surprise.
The Tree Swallows are back as well but have just now started to claim their boxes. In another week or so I imagine they will also be building nests and laying eggs.

I did find this "interloper" in one box and evicted her.
I really enjoy my nest box trail. It's almost like a box of Cracker Jacks with a surprise in every box.

Apple Blossoms

It's that special time of year when I can walk out of the house and drink in the sweet scent of apple blossoms.

It has to be the bees favorite time of year too.

It's only a fleeting bit of time and soon the pedals will be raining down in snowy showers which makes it even more special and I'll savor it while it's here.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happenings around the Farm

My grafts have been sitting in the basement staying cool and dark to help callus the scion to the rootstock. With the opening of some of the scion buds I've moved some of them to the Man Shed to give them some light to green-up their new leaves.

40+ years ago Mom and I raised Cochin bantam chickens. They are a small docile chicken that lay a small egg and are mostly just "yard ornaments"  I bought a young hen and rooster last summer and just the other day the hen went to sitting on her eggs. In about 21 days I'll know if the eggs were fertile and hopefully will have chicks running around the yard.
The rooster is definitely lonely.

The weather is playing havoc with the apple buds this spring. With more cold weather in the forecast it is touch and go as too how the apple crop will fare.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Success with Thicket

Earlier this week Thicket and I were exploring a new covert looking for grouse.  We came to a bottom with a small creek running through it and Thicket suddenly goes on point under some sparse hawthorn. I tried to get the camera out of my pocket but the woodcock flushed without a pic. This is where the point occurred.
 Later I watched her working scent in some open cover near the creek and saw a woodcock flush ahead of her. No grouse were found but her woodcock point made the day.

I know the woodcock are nesting now but just had to see whether her point was a fluke or not, so the next day we headed to Piney Creek. We moved several birds but the only point she had was on a bird that flushed out ahead of us. As she worked her way past the point of flush she turned and held a nice point for a few seconds on the scent left by the woodcock.

Hopefully she has suddenly decided that woodcock are now a bird worthy of a point.  I'll keep my fingers crossed for next fall.