nearly spring

the seasons are shifting, and spring is nearly here in full. the redwing blackbirds are out, the geese have given up their back-and-forth to stay north, and a few days ago i saw well over a dozen flying insects, including bees.

my winter felt like an extension of fall. i wanted to hibernate, but pushed forward in a scramble to finish what i had wanted to accomplish in autumn. some things got done, some didn't. the shed is a much more comfortable place now, with a door and window, wattle and light clay straw on all four walls, a woodstove, and a barrel of (mostly) unfrozen water inside. i have a partner warming my bed at night and often helping out during the day. the worst of winter has been numb fingers and toes - not bad given how lazy i've been so far, and that this was the most severe weather i'd ever passed in a not-quite-shelter.

the livestock are warming up to the new season, laying eggs and promising baby lambs and kids. we sold our first dozen eggs of the year, and have mail order chicks and ducklings on the way. the angora rabbit doe is due to kindle in a week, and our new sheep esther will bulk out our potential for home grown fiber come shearing time. there's a pile of skins and carcasses waiting for warmth and flowing water enough to be processed, and gardens waking up to coatings of manure and the whisper of seeds.

and, of course, friends are on the way. over the coming weeks we'll be adding around half a dozen friends and acquaintances who all want to join in on the projects brewing at shagbark. my project list for the year is three pages long in the condensed version. in the works is the 'book of shagbark', which will be full of project details, tasks, materials needed, and what can be done by condition (weather, number of folks, length of time available...) so that anyone who's looking for things to do can turn to the book rather than seeking me out as some sort of authority.

more to come in the way of recent pictures, videos, and updates here on the tipping of the equinox.