The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Seeking spring

Last year at this time, the snowdrops were blooming, but this year the ground is hard and chilled.  So I set out on Sunday afternoon to search for spring.

Hazel catkins and honeybees

For the first time in weeks, the bees were out on cleansing flights and the nearby wild hazel bushes were close to blooming.  The catkins had elongated and softened, but still no sign of stamens --- not spring yet!

New comfrey leaves
In the forest garden, the comfrey leaves had died back into a brown mulch.  But in the center of each plant, little green tufts of new leaves were poking up.  Spring?

Sycamore leaf in the creek
Down at the baby creek, I got captivated by flashing ripples over the clay streambed.  Not spring, but definitely pretty.

Witch-hazel flower
Then, at last, I found a flower.  Sure, it's witch-hazel (which can bloom at intervals all winter), but I'm counting it!  February's first flower --- spring!

Check out our homemade chicken waterers, perfect for chicken tractors or coops.


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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We woke to 12 degrees today..low last night in the mid single digits...I'm soooo ready for spring...but alas its still a long way off.
Comment by moontree ranch Mon Feb 15 10:22:40 2010
Well, it's snowing again today, so it's hard to hold onto those spring thoughts. But the signs keep adding up! :-)
Comment by anna Mon Feb 15 12:36:28 2010

Well, I'm in search of spring here too. This is one of the coldest winters I remember for around here, at least since I was a kid. It snowed twice here! we are lucky if it snows once in this neck of the woods.

The biggest problem I have right now is that it is WET! WET! WET! I can't do anything around here without walking through standing water. Ick! Although, I guess you can relate since you seem to have your share of mud & muck too.

I can't wait for it to warm up & dry out. I've got a ton of plants in seedling stage waiting for it to warm up a bit here. I figure we have another couple of weeks of frosting nights left. I lost one of my kumquats this year due to the unusual cold, but the other seemed to fare better. Guess I need to buy a replacement if it doesn't come back to life soon. I should schedule some time off work to go buy up some more fruit trees this year...

I can't wait for spring, but I am dreading summer. :P

Comment by Shannon Mon Feb 15 15:47:42 2010
Actually, now that I think about it, we had snow three times.
Comment by Shannon Mon Feb 15 15:49:50 2010
I lost track of how many times it snowed somewhere around half a dozen. It seems like we've only had a few days this year without at least a bit of snow on the ground. And, yes, wet and muck. :-)
Comment by anna Mon Feb 15 15:59:49 2010





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