transition to spring

it's coming. despite several weeks of below-freezing weather and more than one visit from the 'polar vortex', spring is on the way. i'm not sure what made this happen, but my pond recently re-froze in a spiral pattern:

frozen pond swirl

my chicks are Super cute and adventurous. i love when they stretch their necks out ALL the way when sleeping. and i've installed a roost for them, so they're checking that out in very unorthodox and hilarious ways. they've been climbing up their ramp, flying across the brooder, and generally providing great entertainment even as i lay in bed across the room. i can sometimes just see baby chickens arc through the top of the brooder space. they love jumping on their feeder to make the swivel-top spin, and i swear this morning i saw one of them trying to Scratch the feed out of the feeder. great instincts, babies.

chicks inspect new roost
sleep chicks

i also recently did a bit of farm sitting for my lovely neighbors at yarow hill farms. which means i got company while i used my computer:

lap cat
and got to pet cows every day. all the critters there agreed that my pants smell and taste delicious.

lovely cow lady
yesterday, i saw FOUR Different kinds of BUGS outside, Not counting flies and fleas, which unfortunately have (barely) stayed awake throughout winter. one was a tiny beetle, another looked vaguely like a stink bug (but i'm pretty certain it wasn't), another was a black spiky caterpillar of doom, and then i saw Honey Bees Multiple times!!! whoa.

i've responded by seeding and mulching the pond dam with a mix of older seeds (surprise garden! who knows what will come up), sticking cuttings of various thorny things (raspberry, wild rose, gooseberry) in the berm around the main living space to eventually keep chickens out, and starting cuttings of various hedge trees with rooting hormone in a huge cold frame i made last fall.

oh, and all the smaller critters are SUPER horny. the duck ladies spontaneously all go into the 'fuck me' dance until the drake comes running across the yard to please them, and the rabbit ladies have been making some really pathetic sounds. i was convinced one of them had had enough sex and wanted Away, but when i took a seat on a bucket for a few minutes to see what was happening, i realized she was actually still just Incredibly horny and was going to make those noises regardless. hah. good job, almost-spring. now if only my man would come home...