The last couple of weeks have been absolutely gorgeous here – warm and sunny with a nice breeze… I am so thankful for these nice days after the long winter. We could still get a late freeze; in fact our average last frost date is the first week of May. But for the most part it feels like Spring and we have been busy outside. We’ve been digging garden beds, clearing brush, planting potatoes, and starting seeds. TS is working on our little “mini green house” as I write this. We have all our seeds already, but the plants we have ordered have not yet arrived. We have 75 strawberry plants coming, along with a few almond and pecan trees, mulberry, hops, 40 willow cuttings, and I don’t remember what else. We’ve planted a few more blueberry bushes, some Fall Gold raspberries, and hydrangeas. I also finally got cherry blossom trees!!! I have wanted them for years. We planted a Yoshino Cherry near the barn and a Weeping Yoshino Cherry behind the pond. Speaking of the pond, it is FULL of tadpoles. There must be thousands of them! We noticed the first few batches of eggs several weeks ago and several more have appeared since then. TS has been expanding the pond so that we’ll be able to have some Koi fish as well as ducks.
The rabbits are doing well at the moment. After several days of setting out poison in the barn we found at least 12 dead rats (big ones!). TS also finished putting the wire mesh over the bunny area so the barn cats now patrol there each night. So far there has been no sign of the rats’ return. We have 3 brand new litters of bunnies that were born this week! As for the litters born in the shed during the rat infestation – I don’t know what happened, but we lost them within a few days. We do however have a mismatched litter of survivors. Pixie’s litter had one baby who was not killed by the rats. I ended up giving her a few each of both Ruby’s and Sunshine’s babies just because there were so many in those litters. I’m glad I did that now since we lost the rest of the babies in those litters. Pixie has been an amazing mom to all her babies, including the foster-babies. I had wondered if she’d be a good mom because her mother had zero mothering instinct. In fact, Pixie herself was raised not by her own mother, but by our pet dwarf rabbit Robin. Often rabbits inherit their mother’s mothering instincts (or lack thereof) so I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Pixie.
TS spent a large chunk of last weekend making over the chick brooder. He built it last fall and it had a couple problems that needed some work. It now has a hinged roof so the whole thing can be opened for easy access. It’s a huge brooder and therefore has a really heavy roof but he added some counter weights to the back to make it easy for me to open. It’s really great and I can’t wait to add chicks to it this week!