Joyful Toadings of Spring Time

Last year was my first spring on the farm. It happened so fast. Brown and cold of winter turned into warm and green almost overnight. And then WHAM! Everything went out of control so quickly we never caught up. Ever.

I love winter, I do. The cold, the snow, the ice, the fires, the soup, the sweaters.

But this year, I’m okay with welcoming spring. (which is good, since it’s coming with or without my approval.) I think my okay-ness with spring might have something to do with me experiencing a real winter. It was a fantastic winter, what with all the frigid cold and snow. We had snow just a couple of weeks ago. It was awesome.

But. Warmer days coming. Things greening up. It’s all good.

Spring is the season of greening, blooming, renewal, new birth, re-growth, transformation.

Nowhere is that more evident than on a farm.

Pastures turn green. I must be careful about my horses. I am told sometimes horses become gluttons in springtime. They eat and eat and eat the freshly growing sweet spring grass until they make themselves sick. I actually mowed part of the pasture the other day to cut off the tops of the grass. The tops are where the most sugars are.

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Two of the four of our horses tend to have a weight problem and came to us obese. I purchased grazing muzzles for those two. A grazing muzzle makes it harder for them to eat, so they consume less. And yes, those are flies on Merlin’s face. The flies are baaaaaaaack.

In my pasture, spring time means napping in the morning sun. (Wish I could join them…)

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I have to mention here that my great white horse, Merlin, came to me high strung and uneasy. It has only been since the weather warmed up that he will lay ALL THE WAY DOWN, to enter a complete sleep. Previously, he would rest standing up and sitting down, with his head up. Seeing him all the way down made my heart smile. Total relaxation. The other two, Banjo and Jessi, always lay down. And Snickers is keeping watch by the shed.

I planted a few seeds inside in anticipation of a garden. Not many sprouted. Too bad as these were non-GMO, organic, and all that other good stuff.

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I learned last year that the growing season is much shorter here. I live in a different planting zone than I always have. I didn’t grasp that last year and had a very sparse garden. I understand why so many people have greenhouses here.

We also had the problem last year of felled trees on our garden spot. And rain. Lots of rain.  I am still working on the design of my garden. It is located between the house and the barn, so I want it to be eye candy. Yes, feed the family, but also be eye candy. I have started to till up the ground where I want to plant a garden.

Yes, another part of spring is trying to start all the engines again. Lawn mowers, weed eaters, tillers. What a challenge it has been to get things up and running after the long winter off.

Not only are pastures greening up and seeds sprouting, but on this very day last year, I received my chicks in the mail!!!! We got the call from the postmaster about 7:30 in the morning. You have a noisy box waiting on you!

P1100836 HAPPY HATCHDAY, CHICKENS! happy hatchday to you! happy hatchday to you! happy hatchday sweet chickens! happy hatchday to you! We were so nervous and unprepared for those little chirping babies to arrive. But arrive they did and we have enjoyed them like you wouldn’t believe.

Oh, springtime at the pond. The activity in the pond is so much fun to watch. Toads and frogs are our main occupants so far, although Banjo, the horse goes in every now and then. He takes one of his front feet and kicks the water. Don’t know what that’s all about, but it is fun to watch.

We have learned a lot about toads and frogs. We were thinking back the other day to when we lived in the city. We had a frog in an overturned top of a trashcan. We babied that frog, made it a better habitat, but it left us in a few days. I remember thinking then how much fun it would be to have a small reflection pond. Boy oh boy, I’ve got a pond now!

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So, we go out to the pond and see these stringy things in the bottom. It looks like pieces of unraveled carpet.

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What is it? We didn’t know.

Until we saw this. Lots of this.

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‘Tis the season. Mating season for frogs and toads, that is.

Those stringy things are toad eggs.

Frog eggs, which we learned a lot about last spring, are in round jelly balls attached to one another. I moved some of these from a ditch to our pond just a few weeks ago.

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But toad eggs are different. They are weird looking, long twisty strings.

Nature is so cool.

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And here’s a photo from today. They’re hatching! The tadpoles are here!
P1150046 P1150056We’ve been sleeping with our window cracked so we can listen to all the singing at night at the pond.

Isn’t it nice to open a window again? The fresh air. Curtains blowing all around. That sweet aroma of spring coming inside.

Welcome, Spring!

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Nothing like the blue skies in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah

Leave a comment 8 Comments

  1. Diana Henretty says:

    Isn’t it wonderful spring always follows winter? Our Ozark winter was too long, but now its time to plant here and get going!
    This year Im taking my front porch that has two rocking chairs where we sit at the end of each day, and filling two baker’s racks with thrift store pots to grow things in! One will be a little herb garden to grow all summer, the other will have succulents growing.
    Its such a fun project to make the front porch more inviting and cozier.
    Happy Spring, Happy Days, Happy Everything!! Hugs, Diana, Noel, Mo.

  2. Cool photos of eggs! Love the “noise” of frogs so much I bought a CD so I can listen to them in the winter also. I’m headed to my pond to see if I can see the same things you’ve found. Happy spring Rebekah.

  3. Rachann says:

    Making the transition from Midwest farm girl to doctoral student (and 20 years later) back to farm girl in Maryland has been a life long learning curve. Thank God for the gift of humor.

    It’s amazing, when I look at farm photos how I see the beauty and not the work…yet another gift. Enjoy all the mosquito feasts those frog and toads will be helping with soon.
    Rachann

  4. denise says:

    Love reading your posts!

  5. Joan says:

    Ah yes, Spring!!! the renewal of life, inside and out. I agree the Blue Ridge mountains skies are beautiful but I do say the blue skies of the Rocky Mountains give a very similar happiness. Thanks for sharing all the awakenings on your farm. God Bless.

  6. Debbie says:

    Howdy Rebekah! We love the sounds of spring peepers her in New England. My in laws have a pond out back of their old farmhouse and those little peepers always let us konw when spring was finally here! Sure looks great at your place! Happy Spring sister!
    hugs, Deb

  7. Denise Ross says:

    Springtime is beautiful. In my part of the world we are in Autumn. I love this time of year too; the pretty colours of the leaves, the cooler temps so I can go out and really enjoy exercising, and the change in food – yummy casseroles etc, all the things you’re coming out of :). It’s encouraging to me to read your blog not just the huge change in lifestyle but also in the way you approach challenges and choose to look at the sunny side of life.

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