just before imbolc


Already, daffodils in flower. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, before the end of January. This time last year these daff clumps were nowhere near as far along.

My last post of 2011 was such a downer that I can’t believe I’ve not updated the blog sooner than this. It’s not like I haven’t been up to the land, just not as often as I’d have liked because the weather has been so miserable and rainy. We haven’t had snow yet… I’d love to see the forest touched by snow, but driving up to it might be a bit of a challenge. Anyway, it’s been a year since I bought the land, so it is time to think about what has been achieved. The homestead site may not be at its most inspiring in the middle of winter, but it is easier to see the progress without all the tall vegetation that hides everything in summer. I’m thinking of all the bags of trash I’ve cleared away. Ancient trash, some of it… the bottles and cans, the scrap metal and barbed wire, the bunches of socks I’ve found. Yes, socks. They are still a mystery. Anyway, I look at this photo and see the potential!

clear and open and waiting for a cabin...

I’ve also started to dismantle one of the tumble-down buildings, amassing a large pile of firewood in the process. There is also quite a lot of wood that looks solid enough to reuse. Some of it would make great sides for my new vegetable bed. I’m not going to post any images of the dismantling yet, because it’s at the point where it looks worse than when I started. When the job is done, it can have a post all to itself… maybe in a couple of months, and after I’ve had some help moving the old corrugated iron roof.

Anyone following me on Twitter will know that I’ve been suckered into using one of my window boxes as a bird table. (At home, that is, not on the land, where I don’t yet have a cabin or any windows). Actually it’s a pretty good arrangement. I’m on the first floor (that’s the second floor for Americans), so the birds are perfectly safe coming to feed. And they are all just outside my window, mere feet away from where I sit and work most days: cardinals, chickadees, house finches, white-throated sparrows, red-bellied woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches, tufted titmice, towhees, yellow-rumped warblers… It’s amazing, and distracting, and I can’t not feed them now. I’ve also bought a new feeder for the land, and can’t wait to find out what is coming to it. No doubt it’s already empty, so there’s another reason to get back to the homestead soon.

the new bird feeder


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