Despite the fact that it's still bone-chillingly cold here, there are signs of spring on the way. Perhaps that groundhog was on to something! The days are steadily getting longer, giving us a slightly longer window of time to get evening chores done without flashlights. I have been hearing many more wild birds calling from the trees, and while I haven't seen a robin yet, I doubt it will be too much longer now. Our mail ordered seeds are steadily arriving in the mailbox, which make me anxious for the ground to thaw. At the end of the year, I'm ready for the end of the garden season; it's a welcome break from weeding, planting, harvesting, and canning/drying/storing. At this point of winter, though, I long for something fresh and green. I miss planting, harvesting, eating, canning, and yes, even weeding. Of course, in my mind the new garden will have less weeds, less bugs, and more produce than ever before. (Reality has yet to set in!) But I do miss it and I look forward to the time when at least I can get the indoor seedlings started (tomatoes, peppers, and such). I'm trying to get better at it each year, because there are just so many more interesting varieties possible when you don't need to rely on what the local garden centers are carrying! I also try to get more comfortable with working the horses each year, so I'm looking forward to using some machinery this spring that I haven't in the past. (Check out www.pleasantvalleyfarm.weebly.com/field-work.html to see photos of Dan & I, our horses, and equipment!)
The last sure sign of spring around here is, of course, farm babies. I've mentioned the heartbreak of the ones we lost, and there is nothing to do now but move on. We noticed that another one of our ewes, Nutmeg, seemed to be very close, and even though it's a week or so early for her, we put her in the barn. A healthy lamb greeted us this morning as we did chores. I'll check on her soon to make sure all is well and to see if there are two babies, as she normally has twins.