Spring is a time for birth and renewal. This spring at the farm has been no exception. First the wrens, cardinals, bluebirds and eastern phoebes began courting and building nests near the house. Then, we heard the bzzzy-bzzzy-bzzzy-tweet calls of the golden-cheek warblers as they claimed their territories on the cedar-covered mountain southeast of the house. And just last week we heard the warbling songs of the painted buntings. A couple of weeks ago there were baby birds in one of the bluebird houses down by the goat shed, and last week we saw a second clutch of eggs in the same house. More baby bluebirds are on the way!
The bluebonnet flowers have turned into fat, green seed pods, ready to begin their life cycle again, but there are many other wildflowers blooming in the pastures. Almost every one has one or more bees, spiders, ladybugs or other insects sipping nectar or lying in wait for someone who is.
I was thrilled to see some beautiful cosmos blossoms emerging from the seed we scattered after the prescribed burn a couple of months ago.
The flowers and forbs we planted were specifically chosen to attract and support the monarch butterflies. I think I saw a couple week before last, but they were moving too fast for a photo. Other butterflies, however, were more cooperative. A couple of hairstreak varieties sipped nectar from antelope horn milkweed in the pastures.
And this magnificent giant swallowtail posed for several minutes on a purple thistle.
But there was other new life besides the birds and the bees…or maybe because of it. Our B6 cow, aka Red Cow, presented us with a lovely, red splash-face heifer calf to join her half-sister born a little over a month ago.
But we weren't through with the refresh and renewal. The long-awaited and rescheduled installation of a new washing machine, microwave and refrigerator finally came to pass. John supervised the two guys from Home Depot who came to set it all up, and we're so pleased. No longer do we have to open the microwave door with a "church key" or apologize for the rusty refrigerator door!
It has been a lovely spring, and life is good.