Sunday, March 19, 2017

Waiting for Spring

Taking part in the next Red Squirrel survey means that I get to go walk around local woods on a regular basis.

The trees are so beautiful.

The squirrel feeders get checked on a regular basis.  The food level is checked and the sticky tape that is underneath the inside flap of the feeder is swapped for a fresh one.

Today when the feeders were checked, all the sticky tape had small bits of red squirrel fur on them!  

After four sets of samples have been collected, my portion of the red squirrel survey is complete.  The samples will be posted away and scrutinized under a microscope.

Meanwhile, we wait for spring.

The fuchsias have overwintered successfully.  New leaves appear.  I will remember what happened last year and not let them get frosted.

It will be the vernal equinox on Monday and Tuesday, the 21st the second batch of eggs are due to hatch.  I am hopeful but actually more fearful than I was last time.  I know the heartbreak of a failed hatch.  The eggs are in lockdown now.  No more turning.  Just waiting.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Spring things

The next batch of 12 eggs are in the incubator.

From what I have deduced, the temperature was two degrees too high and the little chicks couldn't survive.
2nd batch of eggs in the incubator

I've turned the temp down a smidgen and have tried again.  The eggs were put in on the 1st of March.  This will make remembering when they are supposed to hatch a bit easier.  (chicken eggs take 21 days to incubate).

I sure hope this second batch works.  I have 25 kilos of chick crumb waiting to be consumed!

In the meantime, a few garden jobs have been done.  Winter storms blew the ground cover off the vegetable bed.  It was the work of moments - very muddy moments - to replace the ground cover and weight it down with a carefully saved stash of bricks.
Sprayed apple tree

As we enjoyed a sunny, still day last week, I took advantage of the fine weather and sprayed the apple trees and rose bushes with Bordeaux mixture (mostly copper sulfate and lime)  It will prevent black spot on the roses and scab on the apples.

With all chemicals, protective gear is recommended.  I didn't use them.  I should have worn goggles and a mask.

I'll be better next time.

A new wire was added to the wall.  This will give my beloved wisteria a new thing to cling to in the upcoming year.

I love warm, still spring days.

The plants like them too.  Corkscrew hazel has lovely dangling catkins and tiny little pink flowers.

Spring is well on its way.