The Northwest has been experiencing an unusually mild winter. This past weekend it felt like we were in May or early June rather than just the start of March. While I’m concerned about the lack of a substantial snow pack for summer water, I couldn’t help but enjoy the rays of the sun trickling through the alder branches and warming my face.
The birds and bees knew it too. Our resident Anna’s hummingbirds were running on full throttle, diving and swooping as well as performing their signature move of helicoptering high into the sky before arcing down in full speed dive before sharply turning above the ground and making a large “CHIRP!” sound. The noise, I once read, is not a normal tweet, but a sound caused by the super-fast flick of their tail as they pull up from their high dive.
Bumblebees approached life at a much slower pace. Still drowsy from their winter naps, they buzzed a little hap-hazard around the yard, occasionally taking breaks on a blackberry leaf before meandering on.
But while the birds and the bees were busy having fun, the sunshine meant one thing for us – yard work!
With a goal to put in a full-size garden, we set to work placing a new fence and cleaning up the last of falls leaves.
While scooping up river rocks from a small pile we had left over from last year’s landscaping, we found quite a few worms – including some very large night crawlers. Now, in the past I’ve tried to feed the girls worms. They would just looked at the worm and then stared at me blankly. They didn’t seem to have a clue that the worm was supposed to be a tasty treat. This time things were different. All out chaos broke loose. Sweet Pea, our not-so-aptly named barred rock, would leap up and try to grab the worms from my hands before I could dole them out evenly to the girls. At one point, dear Buttercup, our buff orpington you can read about here, managed to grab a large night crawler but only to find herself pursued by 5 other squawking chickens intent on stealing her prize. Sweet Pea managed to swipe the loot and swallowed the worm in one gulp. Poor Buttercup.
By mid-morning, the girls had settled down on their favorite roosting pole. I had not seem them all roosting at the same time in months and was surprised they could still all fit!
One thing is for sure, spring is almost here.