Friday Follow-Up

Friday Follow-Up was begun as a way of keeping track of what I'd accomplished each week. As the months and years have gone on, it has also been a place to keep track of the change of the seasons, of the weather, and of my livestock.

And my experiments. Hubby is convinced that everything I do must be an experiment; so much so that if I leave a dirty pan filled with water to soak, he asks me what I'm trying to "grow", or if it's ok for him to dump it out. Unfortunately it ended with him not cleaning the dirty pots and pans for me anymore.

Anyway. This week:

-- The ash trees continue to bloom, the leaf buds giving them a red hue. Hubby's spring allergies have kicked in. The undergrowth along the roadsides is beginning to turn green, and is such a welcome sight. We've had over an inch of rain in the past week; the metro even had snow (and my riding buddy had to cancel her weekly trip to come ride with me on her day off because of it). It's extremely muddy and I gain half an inch in height and a full shoe size when I go out to feed because of the mud on the bottom and sides of my rubber boots. But mud is good because it means we had rain!

In the front yard, the henbit is growing on the north side of the house. It will be the first thing to bloom, with its purple flowers bringing color into the drab landscape. I've seen feathery fronds of yarrow growing in the pasture. The poeticus daffodils have begun to send their green spears up to the light. Most years they don't bloom, but I always remember how they looked in the years that they did. They were probably planted years and years ago by the residents of the farmhouse that used to be on this hilltop; it burned down years ago. (Fire is a definite "thing" on this hilltop: that house, the mimosa tree that was struck by lightning and burned a few years ago, and our barn. Hmm.)

-- My older barn cat, Dottie, is showing her pregnancy and I wish I'd written down the date that the neighbors' tom cat was visiting here. "Some time in December" is the best I can remember. A cat's gestation is on the average 63 days, or 9 weeks. She disappeared for a day and two nights this week and I was sure she'd had her kittens out there somewhere, but she meowed at me from under the house the morning after the rainstorm. This is the third time recently that she's managed to get under the house and can't figure out how to get back out. I'm afraid she's going to have the kittens under there, so she is now confined to the mudroom for the duration, while the other two barn cats are only confined at night. I want the kittens to be handled daily so they will be friendly, as well as safe from coyotes and from Cracker's overzealousness where cats are concerned.

-- The coyotes have been very vocal the last few nights, but I haven't seen any during the daytime now that Cracker is loose on patrol. Juliet and Cracker bark all night at coyotes, in tandem.

-- The tomato clones are growing great, and I hope to pot them up this week. I've also begun a new growing experiment, and will have more on that soon...


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