Spring has sprung
It was an absolutely lovely day today, the end of a beautiful weekend, as well as the last day of
the month (and Easter to boot). I’d of course like another day at home wit
h this delicious sunshine – weekends are much too short – though I had a nice mix of down time and chores and errands and fun time.
Saturday was Nosework class with Daisy. We met at a park in Monroe and did some paired hides (birch scent paired with food treat). There were a couple of hides where the target was buried in leaves and it was hard for the dogs to scent. They all did, though, and I was again pleased with Daisy’s performance. The park was right on Highway 203, and it was a sunny day, so the traffic was super loud as we worked. Daisy’s a champ, though, and isn’t bothered a bit, it seems. The biggest drawback was finding a shady spot to park the car so she was comfortable while she waited her turn. I ended up moving the car three times as the sun progressed across the sky during the course of the class time (90 minutes). This time of year most of the trees are still bare of leaves, so don’t provide much of a break from the sun.
Later that day we had a fun day at a local training center where Marilyn, our Nosework
instructor, holds some of her other classes. It was a big day for Daisy, out and about with so many people. She did me proud. The three runs to find her hides (indoors, Easter basket themed) were surrounded by distractions – people, children, and it was a brand new place for her (with lots of barking dogs in the background at the boarding kennel). She really wanted to go see the two children, and the other people, too, but she wasn’t out of control with any of it. I left after the indoor runs – it had already been two hours, mostly waiting, and if she wasn’t tired, I was! It would have been nice to do the outdoor runs too, but since she’d worked in the park that morning, she’d had plenty of Nosework for the day. It was after 5:00 when we headed home to enjoy the evening with the rest of the gang.
The sheep were sheared last weekend and are settling in to their new coats. The first morning after shearing Fergus and Cinnamon were looking miserable cold when I went out to feed them before work, shivering and hunched up. We’ve had some chilly mornings, but the days have been warming up to decent temperatures. After the first couple of days they’ve acclimated and when I let them out of their pen to roam, they look like a herd of deer as they move about the property, up into the woods and down into the pasture, around the house, and over by the beehives. It’s too early to let them on the pasture full time—the grass has a lot of growing to do—but they get good exercise and lots of browse as they move around pruning everything.
The wool is delicious-looking. Fergus’ creamy white fluff and Lorna’s chocolate ice cream scoop,
and all the rest. I may have a buyer for it and I’m torn, though since I have the shearings from last spring and fall still out in the garage, it’s a little ridiculous to hang onto it if someone wants to buy it. I’ll still have plenty to work with when I finally get time to do so.
The bees have been loving the warm days, of course. The mornings are chilly, and the valley fog takes a couple hours to burn off in the morning, but by 11:00 they are up and out. I am very happy that both hives made it through the winter, though we’re not out of the woods yet. Today was warm enough that I popped the hood on the Langstroth hive and did a cursory inspection. When I went to lift the top box, thinking it would be light and easy, I was surprised that it was as heavy as it was. I moved it over to the plywood board and lifted frame after frame of honey out of it. The next box down was also loaded with honey filled frames. It was quite tasty, too (stuck my finger into a portion of comb). There was a little mold present, and some of
the dead bees in there were moldy blobs. I picked out what I could, but will have to let them do their thing with most of it. Since we still have plenty of spring weather ahead, I put it all back without disturbing too much more. I didn’t use the smoker because there was a bit of a breeze and I didn’t want to stress them too much either. So far so good. As long as the weather stays temperate they should be able to use the honey stores as needed. It’s only when it gets super cold that they cluster and could potentially starve, unable to get to the stored honey.
The dogs enjoyed a great day in the sun, with Farley and Pal both dragging in loads of leaf litter and pond muck from their rolling and frolicking. Pal hunts all day long, running like the wind much of the time, on point (to the Robins in the pasture), and often sitting on the hillside in the pasture, watching the world go by. He’s a darling little dog. Daisy played with her piece of siding and her portion of wire fencing. She’s enamored of these things, the wire fencing having been appropriated from the apple tree, where I had wrapped it in a loose coil to keep the sheep from eating the bark. Her other favorite toys are the garden hose and a roll of chicken wire, which is now chewed and half unrolled along the side of the house. I gave her the name Daisy as a nice feminine name for a cute girl Rottweiler, but maybe I should have stayed with the name she came with from the shelter – Jordan – since she’s such a tomboy.
All in all a good weekend, full of the promise of spring, and all my animals enjoying it as much as me, which makes mypleasure all the greater.