Saturday, May 31, 2014

Time for gardening, baby animals, and the birds are back!

The green has returned!!  My front yard gardening is going to be different this year. In the past  I gathered my annual flowers from various green houses whenever I had spare money from whatever errand I was running. I liked to tell myself that the $100 invested was worth the beauty of watching my "flower painting" grow over the summer.

This year will be different. With the news of the possibility of neonicitinoid treated flowers sold at big box retailers, and the connection with these pesticides  to the decline of bee colonies, I decided to concentrate on my perennials, and put vegetables and herbs in my front yard planters this year.   I will search out organics, and try to be more vigilant in my seed saving.  The humming birds have returned and are feasting on the nectar of the wild Columbine.  There is a planting of tall Russel Lupine, and a nice border of Wild Plantain, not only providing a nice border, but a good remedy for burns and bug bites. Other wild medicinals in there are Yarrow, nettle, and catnip.  The Grandpa Ott morning glories are waiting to climb over all of the Staghorn Sumac, also a medicinal, and source of a tea high in vitamin C. 

Out in back, in the barnyard, I have one litter of bunnies, several setting hens,  and my lambs are growing like the weeds and grass they dine on.
But the biggest thrill this spring, the one that makes my heart leap for joy, is the return of my friends, the Barn Swallows.    It's been about three or four years since I have had these playful darters swooping around me as I work out in the yard with my animals. I can't think of another bird that I share such a connection with, or that seem to "talk" back to me .   Several years ago, the nests seemed to fail,  I found babies on the floor of the barn.  Something seemed to be messing with their nests. We still had tree swallows that visited the yard from their woodland nests, but my cheerful Barn Swallows were painfully absent.  Until NOW!!  There are several pair back and building nests, and I am just delighted to see them again.
So yay for Spring in Minnesota!

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