Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Signs of Spring

The birds are back, for one thing. A pair of golden eagles that stitched the skies over our hill all winter now have to share with returning red-tail hawks. Kestrels are once again courting and nesting in the barn eaves, doves sit in pairs on the fence in the evening, and a pair of blue birds have taken up their old nest hole in a dead avocado tree.

A sudden hot spell follows weeks of rain and now things that hadn't planned on doing anything for another month or two are in the mood to grow and bloom. Cecil Brunner blooms and shoots out new growth as he crowds out the forsythia in his struggle to reach the power lines:

Rhubarb and strawberries venture forth tentatively:

And some things that I can't even identify thrive quite happily anyway.

The shearer comes down for a day and we see lots of "baby bumps" on the ewes!

I take advantage of the warm, dry winds to wash and dry some of our freshly sheared fleeces before the next wet weather hits.

Evil Kitty catches small creatures and puts them in the bath tub where she can torment them at her leisure. At least the remains are easy to clean up.

She is particularly hard on the lizard and skink population, though I have managed to save several still-alive, albeit tail-less, skinks. Poor things; apparently they can reach an age of about 5 or 10 years, but I fear our population may not be so lucky. We continue to have words on the subject of predation and conservation. She does not appear to care.

Moths have hit my woolens. I wanted hubby to take a home-grown, spun and knit cashmere scarf with him on his trip to Chicago; alas, it was chewed to bits.

I was sad because I couldn't remember when I had made it or if I had worn it or if I had a good time doing either. I told him to throw it in the trash because it made me feel so awful.
Then I went out and retrieved it. At first Evil Kitty wanted it for her bed,

but I dissuaded her and patiently frogged it, tying the shorter bits together and winding them up until there was just a ball left. I think I will leave it like that for a while.

And then there is always this:

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