Spring Showing

Two weeks ago our Native Dogwood trees had been in full splendor. On the seldom trips away from the farm for deliveries or part runs, the bright white or tinted green petals stood out at the forest edges along the highway. On the farm also, the couple of Dogwoods we have looked beautiful when I took a hillside walk.

This week it is the Serviceberry that is making the showing. Serviceberries are also a native species for Oregon and the petal groupings are absolutely gorgeous this year. Or maybe they are this beautiful every year but I noticed them more this year because I added a task to my schedule each day and have been sending a picture a day to a friend of mine.

The camera on my phone is such an amazing addition to get me to observe my surroundings as I walk, hike, Gator, tractor, or push the herd of cows to a new pasture. If I didn’t have the thought of capturing a new variety of beauty each day for my friend, I’m sure I would have missed many of the sights. I think it may be like dieting (nope I’m not even going to try that radical promise) with a friend, being bound to another person to keep a vow that both have made. The act of recording and sending the simple pictures gives me the joy of noticing how very fortunate I am to live in this area and the ability to share with another person and making those important connections when our ability to visit in person are limited.

Especially with last weeks rainfall, everything is lush and thriving and new buds, flowers, flora and fauna are making their spring showing a special time to be in nature.

You gotta see the pictures! They are posted with this story on SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. While you are there, if there is any online shopping you plan on doing, please go through my picture links. By doing so, I may make a small commission without a charge to you! The commissions help pay for my user charges for this site, Thank You for supporting the farm stories.

 

A Little More Spring

Even though temps this week are dropping down to the low 20’s at night, the days are clear and sunny with comfortable daytime temperatures in the 50’s. We have been concentrating on the yard/garden/orchard area this week in an effort to get things caught up before I head out for the next session of REALOregon and so that Marilyn can apply dormant spray oil to the fruit trees before the spring moves farther along.

With all the laddering, snipping, hauling, clipping and wheelbarrowing, we have taken the week off from firewood bundle production. Although we were working just as frantically as normal weeks, the break from the firewood was welcomed by the whole family and since the orders were light this week anyway, the rest of the producers were able to fulfill the needs of the stores easily without our help. I even took a little time to get out to the bull barn (usually Mike’s territory when we are not bundling) to sweep out the wood production area, replenish supplies and get things in ship-shape for the next round of producing.

The yard area around the house is showing signs of transition from winter to spring. Last week you heard about the skunk cabbage emerging and I had mentioned the dead purplenettle plants are already blooming. The daffodils are cheerfully waving their bright yellow heads as cars go by on the county road. The rose bushes that were planted last spring are sprouting new leaves. Both lavender and white violets are emerging around the rock garden, the buds on the vine maple are swelling (this is the plant that I am monitoring for Natures Notebook Citizen Science project) and I have found and eradicated  a couple of dandelion-sized tanzy (an invasive noxious weed) that popped up in the last couple of weeks.

The official beginning of spring is more than a week away, but the plants are not going to wait for the calendar this year.

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

 

Spring Stretch

I have been telling you about the main herd across the river getting that Spring Feeling when wanting to go to the fields that are beginning to show new grass growth. The bulls in the bull pen have been given ‘day passes’ to extended fields around the bull barn to get their share of fresh pastures and the animals in the show barn are allowed in different fields as well. The rotation quells that urge to test the fences to see if the grass is actually greener on the other side, it keeps the cattle content and we do not have to spend more time than usual fixing fence. It is a win on all sides of the fences, pens and pastures.

Even with the rotations to new grazing areas, the Spring Feeling is in the air and behaviors are changing. It might have something to do with the temperature warming a bit, those old winter coats that the critters have been sporting all winter are beginning to wear out and are becoming itchy. The cows are rubbing their long necks on fence posts and trees, corners of the barn and each other to scour out some of the thick fur so the summer, sleek coat can fill in. The calves are racing each other around the field at odd times and it sends the mothers into a panic to chase after them so they don’t get into trouble away from the safety of the larger animals.

The cows are also working on their bodies to get back into shape for the warmer weather and they are stretching more than during the cold, damp winter months. Old stumps are changing from hazards to walk around to ergonomic, bi-level, torso stretching, exercise devices. Cows, calves and bulls are using the stumps wherever they find them to stretch out those winter muscles and get their spring groove-a-movin’.

It seems like all of a sudden the farm has turned into a gymnasium. Which reminds me, maybe I should be out there doing a little stretching before climbing the ladder for tree trimming…

Since mrssusanschmidlin.wordpress.com is nearly out of data, the complete story can be found at SchmidlinAngusFarms.com. I encourage you to check it out, get your information in on the FOLLOW button spot, and get every story in full color. I would be grateful if you did want to do any cyber shopping to use my links on the stories on that site. By using my links, I get credit for directing people to shop and may make a small commission without any cost to you! Your support helps support the website to be available for the daily stories. Thank you for supporting SchmidlinAngusFarms.com

I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com!

Trillium Along The Trail

trilliums along the trailThe blossoms of trilliums are popping up in the woods. They can be found along the edges of tall evergreens, beside trails, poking out alongside rotting habitat logs and sometimes right in the middle of well-trod animal paths.

The trillium comes from a bulb and will regrow in the same vicinity each year because the bulbs do not tend to travel. They are not tough like a daffodil, disturbing the bulbs on a site more likely than not will result in killing the tender plant and bulb, transplanting is usually not recommended because of this. Continue reading

Back To The Garden

Now that the project of planting seedlings in the woods has been completed, the garden spring pruning is number one on the list.

We were very fortunate to move to a farm 40 some years ago with a well-established orchard of a wide variety of plums/prunes, apples, pears, cherries and nuts. Most of the old trees have survived but some have gone by the wayside.

The trouble is the size of the trees, they are massive and most of them were grafted over60 years ago. Grafts tend not to be as strong as the ancient trees and huge limbs have broken out over the years where the grafts were started. Over the years we have purchased and planted several more varieties of trees and the new trees are dwarf or semi-dwarf strains (much easier to prune). But the old trees are so delicious that we will not take any out unless they break down completely.

We still have two more trees to finish before we are finally done with this task and then I may have to start singing again…

So Close I Could Touch It

We are finally experiencing weather that feels like spring since the cold grip of winter is loosening a bit.

A close rainbow in field.A day full of dark ominous clouds creating bursts of rain with hail switching to brilliant sunlight moments later gave beautiful rainbows between the two on and off throughout the day.

It is a nice break from the below average temperatures of February and first half of March. Which reminds me, it is time to get back to all the spring obligations now that the weather is cooperating.

Robin Egg Blue In The Middle Of The Road

Blue robin egg in road.Robin eggs have been spotted, another sign that spring is really here.

This one happened to be right in the middle of the dirt road on the way to do the morning chores.

This could not have been laid in a nest for it was quite a distance from any structures or grassy areas where it could be hidden safely. It had not been dropped from a distance because there were no cracks in the thin shell. I can only assume some unsuspecting-expecting robin happened to be walking, along minding her own business, when she plopped out an egg and left it knowing that she had no protection to brood her possible offspring. It must have come as quite a surprise.

First Trillium

A wild native trillium growing in the woods.It is now official, for me at least, now that the first trillium has been spotted. I declare that it is now spring on the farm.

I had been down hill earlier in the day to visit a friend who lives about 500 feet above sea level, and saw a bright, white trillium blooming at the edge of their flower bed. As soon as I got home, I headed out to see if we had any blooming.

According to Wikipedia,

Conservation

Trillium grandiflorum (great white trillium)

Picking parts off a trillium plant can kill it even if the rhizome is left undisturbed.[14] Some species of trillium are listed as threatened or endangered and collecting these species may be illegal. Laws in some jurisdictions may restrict the commercial exploitation of trilliums and prohibit collection without the landowner’s permission. In the US states of Michigan[14] and Minnesota[15] it is illegal to pick trilliums. In New York it is illegal to pick the red trillium.[16]

In 2009, a Private Members Bill was proposed in the Ontario legislature that would have made it illegal to in any way injure the common Trillium grandiflorum (white trillium) in the province (with some exceptions), however the bill was never passed.[17]

Here at the farm it is the white trillium that is native and grows in the woods during the spring although they don’t grow as big as the ones down in the valley. The white blossoms turn pink as they age while the green leaves can continue to get larger after the blossoms have fallen off. Leaves tinged with a red hue can be spotted well into the heat of the summer if they have some tall trees around to keep them from the brutal sun.

Monday Morning Snow

A little more than a skiff of snow blanketed the limbs on the freshly trimmed fruit trees, the garden, pastures and roads around the farm early Monday morning. The snow looked pretty on the pink blossoms of the flowering cherry.

It was a bit of a surprise since we had gone to bed with clear skies and stars twinkling. Just a few clouds near sunrise brought enough moisture in for this touch of winter. From before 5 a.m. until about 7, the showers came through and coated everything. Most of the snow was melted by noon and once again we noticed a hummingbird or two snooping around for flower to visit.

Better Than A Groundhog

While feeding the herd across the river, I noticed the alder trees by the river getting their familiar red spring tinge.

Alders along the river beginning to get red spring color.The trees had been dull and lifeless all winter long since they lost their leaves in the fall.

It seems like a long time coming but the alders turning hue is a very good indicator that the trees are coming out of winter dormancy.

Catkins on alder tree.The color doesn’t come from new leaves emerging, that comes a little later in the season. The red comes from the catkins that will soon be the pollen delivery system for the area.

The picture also shows a couple of under-developed cones still on the tree from last year, hanging on until they rot away.