Signs of Spring

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I always love when blogger friends post pictures of their home and that which surrounds it. We've had a wonderful winter here in northern California~lots of rain and snow; because of this, the scenary is beautiful. Cassidy (daughter #2) and I strolled the property this past weekend and here is what we saw.Fruit trees in bloom. In nearly 20 years we've learned what trees do well here and those that do not. The do-nots include apples. With 110° summer days, our poor little apple trees just didn't do well. So, about a month ago we tore them out and planted 10 new cherry and peach trees. This brings our little fruit orchard to nearly 50 trees, with some additional room for planting.Given a few sunshiny days the trees have begun to blossom, and the bees have gotten busy. Not necessarily a good thing in February, we're sure to have frost-laden mornings and more rain before the trees have leafed out. Cross your fingers!Even our flowering bushes are feeling a bit of spring fever.The hydrangea, a bit more cautious, peek out to greet the warm sunshine. We will continue to cover them with more pine needles until the fear of frost is over.
This is a dry creek bed which runs through our property. When we purchased it we were told it had once been part of a river which carried run off from the twin peaks of Mt. Lassen. It's dry in the summer, but in the Winter and Spring we have this beautiful waterway. The kids find tadpoles and other little creatures. It also becomes a sanctuary to visiting friends.
Each year mallards visit to mate and hatch their young. So far this year, we only have this one pair. We usually have more. There's plenty of food, and we don't let the cows graze near the creek bed until after the ducks have moved on. The grass grows long and provides a nesting ground for the mallards, pheasants and Canadian geese. We, well actually, I don't allow hunting on our property, much to my son and his friends dislike. My husband just smiles.We also have several Herron visit. Some are white, like this big guy others are more blue. They eat small jack rabbits which also seem to like it here. This particular Herron did NOT like his picture being taken, we stalked him a bit, and managed to make him angry. He'll be back.
Always wanted to know what the fashionable farm divas sport for footwear. . .this is it! Aren't they glamourous. In my 40 something years, I don't remember a time where I didn't have a pair of black barn boots. I have stepped it up a bit, Cassidy has a pink multi-striped pair and Bethany's are baby blue. . .oooo la la!
We're about to be hit with another cold winter storm. This picture was taken over the pool house. Snow down to the valley floor is the prediction (we are about 100 feet above sea level); I can count on one hand how many times it's snowed here in my life time, so you can imagine the excitement. For the kids you'd think they'd moved Disneyland to the backyard. For me, I'm on my way to bring in more firewood and maybe a bit of sewing. . .

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