The Merry Month of May

I cannot believe that we are already nearing the end of May! Wow! It went by quickly. This has really been a month of transition–as far as the weather is concerned. Since I’ve last written, we’ve had a week of snow which, though at times it dusted the ground, quickly melted. We’ve rainy days. We’ve had warm days, and cool days, and then back to warmth again. In fact, this week the temperatures are going to rise into the 70s (F), with a high of 76 forecasted for Saturday. With the warmer weather, the trees are beginning to leaf. I see more and more green on the trees every day.

Earlier in the month, when it was still cold and snowy, we went to a farm store to buy several bags of chicken feed and dog food. I spent the next several days scooping the chicken feed into empty kitty litter buckets to keep it safe from rodents. I filled 30 buckets.

Pretzel Buckets

I also bought several large containers of pretzels–not because I wanted the pretzels, although I enjoy pretzels, but because I wanted the buckets to store flours, oatmeal, and other things that I don’t want mice to get into. I figured it was cheaper to buy the buckets of pretzels than to buy empty storage buckets. LOL.

We live on the border of two counties. They each had tree sales in the spring so we ordered five elderberry bushes from one country and five Norway Spruce trees from another. Pick up was delayed because of the quarantine, but we were able to pick up both orders over the last couple of weeks, and we got everything planted.

Our neighbor’s house being built.

We planted two of the Norway Spruce trees to block a spot where we can see our neighbor’s property through the trees. Our properties were originally one 10 acre property, which the original owner split off into two 5 acre lots. We share a short section of our driveway. Our neighbor’s property had originally been their vacation property. They had just a tiny little house on it, which they visited only a few times in the summer. But now that they have retired, they plan to move up here full-time. They are in the process of having a house built. A BIG  house, it looks like. I’ve really enjoyed the quiet of the neighbors not being here much, and I really hope that when they are here full-time, they will be friendly-ish and not noisy.

One warm day a week or so ago, I washed the windows and put the screens in. It was nice to be able to open the windows and let the fresh breeze in. Of course, it then turned cooler again, but I think warmer weather is coming in to stay.

We’ve also gotten out the garden hoses–one in the front yard and two in the back yard. One of the hoses in the back yard will have a sprinkler attached, while I’ll use the other one to fill the chickens’ and cats’ water dishes.

Chickens shut out of the garden

Last Friday EJ and I worked together to shovel dirt into the raised garden boxes. The chickens tend to scratch some of the dirt out so we shut them out of the garden. They get access to the garden except between planting and harvest. They still have a big outside fenced in area to enjoy. We don’t free-range them because we have too many predators in the area.

This last weekend EJ cut longer boards into shorter ones for me, which I carefully labeled them with the names of the herbs I am planting in the boxes at the front of the house. Today was warm enough that I planted the boxes with my herbs. Now I can cross my fingers and hope the plants grow.

While I worked in the front yard garden this morning, EJ was working in the back yard garden. He finished filling the boxes with dirt and then he planted some peas.

Indigo Bunting in the lilac bush.

We’ve been enjoying a lot of the Spring birds coming through. I’m continuing to put sunflower seeds in a feeder, and I’ve also put out the hummingbird feeder and oranges. So far we have seen Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Orioles, Hummingbirds, a Scarlet Tanager, Northern Flickers, Bluebirds, and beautiful blue Indigo Buntings.  It’s such a joy watching them. It looks like bluebirds are going to nest in the birdhouse again.

It was still daylight outside last night at 9pm when I glanced out the window and saw a large raccoon climb the post to eat the sunflower seeds in the birdfeeder. I grabbed my camera to take a photo when I saw our cat, Theo, stalking the raccoon. It really scared me because I know raccoons can be mean. Theo wouldn’t have a chance against it. I knocked on the window hoping to interrupt a bad situation. The raccoon quickly ran off…but foolish Theo ran after it! I quickly stepped into my slip-on shoes and ran outside, calling “Here, kitty, kitty!” I saw the raccoon in a tree at the edge of the forest with Theo at the base. I was afraid Theo would climb the tree after it! I continued desperately calling, “here, kitty, kitty” and Theo abandoned his pursuit and ran up to me. Millie ran up to me too so I led them through the garden and shut them safely in the coop with the chickens for the night. Whew!

The photo I took is blurry because both the raccoon and Theo were moving, and I was also beginning to move in an attempt to rescue the cat. But you can still see both the raccoon and the cat.

Theo on the deck. The raccoon coming down the post.

We get most of our work done during the weekend. The rest of the time, in between my other tasks, I have been “homeschooling” myself, educating myself on current events, following interesting rabbit trails, chatting with friends. It’s been so interesting that I have stayed up late and haven’t written. Sorry for neglecting you.

I hope you all are doing alright. I know this year has been challenging. A lot of people are really struggling. My heart goes out to everyone. It hasn’t been that bad for us because we have our Enchanted Forest. I shudder to think what this quarantine would have been like for us if we were still living downstate in our house on a small lot in town.

 

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