Friday, May 8, 2020

The Calm Before the... Freeze?

Thursday started off fairly bright with a little overcast.  Oddly enough, it wasn't as cool as the previous two mornings, with temps in the mid-40s.  The light was good, so I thought I would take a few pictures and see what would turn out.
The biggest thing I have noticed over the past couple of days is exactly HOW LONG the daylight hours have become and how far North the sun is when it breaks the plane of the horizon.  The picture above was taken while a was facing just a bit more south of southwest - that might give you a flavor for what I was observing.

The oak trees are just now having their buds swell.  This, in itself is a bit strange because the other trees are not much ahead of them.  Usually, the oaks are content to wait until well after the other trees are completely leafed out.  This year they are right with the rest of the trees and bushes for the most part.  We thought our ash trees might not have survived, but we see they also have buds swelling.  We have little doubt that they will succumb to the ash-borer beetle (we think they are already), but we are not inclined to take them down.  Worst case scenario: they become woodpecker habitat.  I mean, what will they do, allow the borer to spread to other ash trees?  Too late to worry about that one as our farm is probably among the last bastions in the state for unaffected ash trees.

We are in the season of the green cart.  These carts have been with us at the farm since our second season and they often get pressed into duty to hold plants up off the ground and allow us to move them about.  Or, to put them under shelter in case....

The weather gets cold and we have a frost or freeze.

Public Service Announcement: Be ready for a freeze in our area.  If you have already put your garden in... oops.  Get things covered or brought in for the next few nights.

Casa Verde has a bunch of trays in it already, but not as many as we want in it.  Why?  Well, we saw this cold snap coming and decided we would keep things in their warmer locations rather than move them out and then back in again.  I suppose the other reason is that we reduced our planting for the season.  But, we were anticipating having Casa Verde full around Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

The Nanking Cherries in the hen pasture have finished their blooms for the most part.  These rose-tinted flowers only hang on for a short couple of days, which become even shorter if there is a strong wind or heavy rain.  At one point, we had hopes that we would have significant numbers of these bushes on our farm.  Sadly, most of them have perished over the years - usually because the rabbits and other rodents girdle their stems near the ground during the winter months.  Apparently, they are a favored snack.

The good news is that we usually have some Nanking Cherries to snack on as we walk about the farm in June.  They are not very big and are mostly pit, but they taste sooo good!  Ok, that's our story and we're sticking to it.

We also know the birds (chickens and wild birds) like them.  We'll call it a win all around.

Some of the small Serviceberry bushes in the Turkey pasture are now big enough to be seen without assistance.  In fact, they are showing off some very nice blooms right now!  This is one of those projects that started with one idea and mind and simply went another direction.  Initially, we saw this as a solid line of bushes.  Now, it is just a few clusters and individual bushes here and there.  Some of this has to do with the extremely wet weather over the last few years that saturated some of the intended bush line.  But, there ARE survivors.  And that is a good thing.

We're both wondering if we will get to sample some berries from these bushes this year.  I did notice some decent pollinator activity around these bushes later in the day - so we'll call that one a win too!

The two cherry trees on the farm are now entering full bloom.  Maybe this year we will have a nice crop of cherries?  Or, perhaps not.  The upcoming freeze just might limit production.  Since there isn't really anything we can do about it, we'll just keep treating the trees nice and complement them on their lovely clothing.  Then we'll watch with anticipation for the red fruits so we can grab them before the critters do!

While our trees appear to be nice and healthy, we have yet to bring in much more than a few hands full of fruit in any given season.  We know they are capable of more and we await the season when we wonder what to do with them all.  I just told one of the trees what a nice treat that would be.  I hope it took the suggestion well.

And, the Grape Hyacinth are happy this season.  Unlike so many of the plants around our house that did not like being trod on as the house was being sided, these little plants have decided to show off this year.  Good for them!  Unlike the fruit tree blooms, we doubt they will be bothered at all by the cooler temps.  They might be winding down from peak bloom as it is, but they are hardy little plants.

And finally, please remember to be kind and considerate to each other.  Remember to wear a mask when you patronize a business, if you decide to do so.  Even if you think you'll be ok, consider that the workers at these establishments don't have a choice and will be exposed to every person who does not wear a mask.  For their sake, wear the "stupid" mask so they don't have to bear the brunt of this.  It's not about you, it's about caring for them.  Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your input! We appreciate hearing what you have to say.