Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Its Spring Somewhere - Right?

The wild turkeys who have spent the last four days with us are finally ready to get back to the task at hand - breeding season. This big tom is doing his best to impress the others but unfortunately there are no females in the small group. None-the-less, I was impressed enough to zip back inside and grab my camera. The scene seems strangely like one that might play out in a bar.

With camera in hand I captured a few more beautiful scenes. As I mentioned in the previous blog, there's a lot to be thankful for!

The Natural Resources Conservation Service SNOTEL website on South Colony Creek at an elevation of 10,800 feet recorded 19" of snow with 1.8 inches of moisture from our last storm. That's 4.3 inches of moisture more than this time last year.

The horses and cattle are content in the morning sun and with the big bale to munch on. By tomorrow plenty of fresh grass should be showing again. We are boarding two rescued Thoroughbred horses for a wonderful neighbor down the road and seven replacement heifers for a nearby ranch. It feels nice to have horses here again.

In case you missed the previous email about our mid-May snow storm, click here.

From Fleur Creek Farm

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Nature's Seasonal Battle

Nature’s seasonal battle is underway, a battle that occurs nearly every year when spring attempts to arrive only to be ­blown back by winter. This push and pull of the seasons leads to wonderful sunny days in the 60s followed by a snowstorm.

The last few weeks have been so beautiful that we tackled all kinds of outdoor projects from fence repair, irrigation ditch cleaning, and garden preparation to fruit tree pruning and fertilization. We woke up yesterday morning to 14” of wet snow and temperatures in the low 20s. Last night another 3” of snow fell. 

We had some warning that this winter blast was on its way when I received a text alert on Friday from the National Weather Service. In a desperate attempt to save the blossoms on the cherries and native plums Don took a clue from the Florida citrus growers and sprayed the trees with water as the temperatures dropped below freezing Sunday evening. The concept is that the blossoms encased in ice are warmer than the 20 degree air around them. It will be several days, maybe weeks, before we’ll know if it worked. The apple tree blossoms have not yet opened so we are hopeful that they were spared the damaging cold temperatures.

Several weeks ago, I started squash, pepper and herb seeds in our small indoor greenhouse. Today the little seedlings look out the windows at all the snow and I’m sure they are thankful for the heating mat they are sitting on and the bright lights that hover over them.

Last week we ventured over to our favorite garden center in Salida to take in the scene and buy our geraniums. Last year we waited too long and missed getting the color I like the most. I was not going to make that mistake again this year so we came home with a dozen beautiful red plants. I’ve had enough experience with the give and take of the seasons to know that these flower plants need to stay indoors for a few more weeks so they are currently in the old cabin.

The scene will be spectacular as the clouds slowly lift off the high peaks. Once the ground reappears, we’ll see bright green meadows, brilliant blue skies and snowy, white mountains. Its lot to be thankful for!