I got up early this morning to meditate and contemplate. I awoke to the sound of early morning birds singing into the darkness. The dawn chorus begins long before the sun makes an appearance! When the sky lightened it was still cloudy and cool - the mountains obscured by a band of dark gray.
When I went down to let the chickens out I took with me a sprouting broccoli and a kale plant both of which had gone to seed. The chickens were thrilled. While I was in the chicken house tidying up, Daisy came back in to see what I was doing. When she saw there were no bugs in the offing she took advantage of the lonely grain basin and then cheerfully hopped back out to the greens and the other girls. A happy and cheerful chicken is a delightful thing.
Later on the sky cleared and sunshine again flooded the orchard and yard. All the rose bushes have buds but only Jude the Obscure has aphids. My newly planted lewisia opened two flowers and is covered in buds like a delightful pin cushion. So far, it is uninterrupted by the rabbits. Deer spray will need to go on all things liberally and very soon. Things in the garden are really starting to leaf out and fill in the cracks. I want to get things into pots on the deck but it is still too early - they will sit there and pout if I do. I am gradually building up a collection of plants to make hedges with but I need to think of a more controlled way of doing that or they will all get run over by the lawn mower.
The new chipmunk made sure I knew she or he was there and then practically made gestures at the empty feeder. She ran off when I began talking to her. She'd made her point. She was back poking her nose out from under a the leaf of a lady's mantle after I'd filled the feeder. After a little online research and the binoculars from the kitchen window she is a Townsend chipmunk. She knew that already. At the same time she was gathering seeds there was a new visitor to the feeder - an evening grosbeak. Really lovely with a dark yellow green breast, yellow marks around the beak and flashes of bright yellow under the wings. Our family is expanding rapidly.
The crabapple at the end of the orchard is in full bloom, they are such lovely trees all the year around.