The Early Spring

The first hint of spring. What a crazy set of feelings this phenomenon leaves us with. It’s almost like what I can imagine waking from hibernation feels like. Refreshing, inspiring, rejuvinating, full of promise. It’s that moment when you realize that all things you’ve been planning and dreaming up all winter are finally not too far away after all. And you need this reassurance, because winter was long and it knows how to start stripping away at a spirit. You know you’re not quite in the clear yet, because this wouldn’t be the the Northern Plains without that hullabaloo of a snowy spring storm. But the first hint of spring keeps you sane enough until the real thing returns.

Spent the night out at the farm with D. As much as I am entirely over his hunting cabin living arrangements, it makes it more bearable when at least subzero temperatures aren’t thrown on top of it. Trips to the outhouse don’t require quite as much courage. Woke up in the late morning to the sun shining and temperatures around 40 degrees. D was still sleeping, but it was much too pretty a morning not to take advantage of. So I ignored the remaining sleepiness that was still lingering, rounded up the dogs, and headed on a walk of the 80. We headed down the hill to the slough first, then up the pasture and over to the big climbing tree. The little snow that is left on the ground was melting in the morning sun, but the ground will remain frozen for a while. The dogs had a blast. Ruby took her time, but was still able to keep up pretty well. Gunner really let out his legs, racing around like it had been years since he’d been allowed to do so. Jack kept pretty good pace with Gunner, but was more independent, nose to the ground as usual. They had a fair amount of cabin fever to get out as well.

The morning walks are always my favorite. Usually things are much more calm and quiet. The wind generally stays relatively sedate until late morning, and the clouds often haven’t quite shown up yet. This is how it was this morning, so we got a fair helping of sun. I still wore my winter coat, but it was very comfortable.

Later in the day, D and I walked down to the food plot area and discussed plans this years farm ideas. D would like to plow up the food plot and make it the new garden. To the south just before the grove of trees, would be the relocation of the chicken coop. In the open grass below the food plot would be fenced in for a couple of cows. Just beyond that in the tree line and to the west would be the area to fence in the pigs. Though we’re most likely not going to embark on the adventure this year, if we do bees, I thought a good place for them would be just beyond the tree line, so they are far enough away from daily life, but close enough to the water source that the low tree line ground provides and maybe close enough to the garden for pollination and a food source. D isn’t quite sold on that idea yet.

D has so many plans for this year already. It’s great to have ideas and plans churning, though I feel like I need to be the one to round out with the practical side and make sure we do not bite off more than we can chew. We have bits of knowledge and skills to help us make a good start on this, but we need to keep in mind that there is going to be a huge learning curve for both of us on much of this. As they used to say in the Army – crawl, walk, run.

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