It’s been a very long and very grueling Winter, and this is coming from someone who loves winter. I love the snow, the cold, the cuddles under warm blankets with big mugs of coffee. It’s a time of rest, to read good books and eat hot soups.
The only thing I don’t love about winter is how long it lasts. Here in upstate NY Winter starts in October and lasts until April. It’s our longest season and right around mid February everyone starts to go a little crazy. Seasonal depression hits hard, the never ending snowstorms and bitter cold mean cabin fever for many people. Around this time of year I start to miss the greenery, the taste of fresh produce, and sitting on my back porch watching the chickens frolic through the yard. I miss working in the garden and soaking up the sunshine.
The good news is, Spring is getting nearer every day. Although we’re still buried under snow and there’s no greenery to speak of yet, I can tell it’s on it’s way. Birds chirp outside my window every morning. The 5 foot long icicles have come crashing down from our roof. The daylight extends past dinner time.
The most true sign of Spring? Many of our lazy chickens have finally started laying again! We’ve only had three birds laying eggs since October, our two Leghorns and our tiny Silkie. All of the other chickens have been on a very long break. Today I ventured out into the coop and was so surprised to see nine eggs! We’re finally back in business!
The chickens have been enjoying the warmer weather as well. Melted snow means plenty of frolicking through the muddy yard and digging through old pots of soil in search of bugs and seeds. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that the temperature is going to drop again this week. They’ll find out soon enough.
Our Angora, Dolly, is even looking ready for Spring. Her coat has grown out long and full this Winter and it’s almost time for a haircut!
A few days ago I went out and bought a drop spindle so I can start spinning her wool into yarn! A friend taught me how to use it, and while it will take some practice, I think it’s going to be so amazing to have homegrown fiber to knit with. Her wool is SO soft and warm, and the pure whiteness of it means it will be very easy to dye.
This year the itch for spring hit harder than usual. Since we started growing food I’ve enjoyed the warmer weather so much more. I’m so anxious to get out into the garden and it’s so sad seeing it buried under a blanket of snow.
I did find a few teeny tiny sprouts popping out of the soil. One was from our chives, who are always the first to grow in the Spring.
Seeing even the tiniest bit of greenery gets me all excited about gardening. I couldn’t wait another second to get planting, even though we’re still buried in snow. I filled several window box planters with lettuce and spinach seeds and set them to germinate in the windows of our sun room.
Last year our wiley rabbit knocked them all over and devoured ever bit of vegetation inside. This year we’re hoping for a higher success rate. I also got started a little early on our herb garden. Basil, Parsley, and Oregano are germinating in a teeny greenhouse in our spare bedroom. The little sprouts are so tiny! I hope they make it!
How is Spring coming along in your neck of the woods? Are you still buried under snow or are you one of the lucky ones that’s able to start planting? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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