20 March 2010

Vernal Equinox

Today, for those devoted readers sans calendars, was the very first day of Spring, the vernal equinox, when the hours of sun and darkness are almost exactly equal and the sun rises and sets almost precisely east and west.

It even acted like Spring here on the farm - the high was 67F, not a cloud in the sky and a light breeze. If a doubting Thomas required further proof, there were the crocus and daffodils as silent witnesses to the Spring.

Mr. Fuzzy cut down the large apple tree in the back corner of the walled garden a couple of days ago. Our predecessors noted that it did not yield any fruit but Mr. Fuzzy was loathe to cut it down without a first-hand observation. The tree was healthy but heavily shaded by huge oaks. Perhaps worse yet, the builders of our house imported pond mud to fill the garden corner, why we will never know. The soil here is more than adequate according to tests by Virginia Tech university and needed no supplements whatever. The pond muck is very poor in nutrition and packs densely. Between that and the shade, the poor apple tree would never have the conditions requisite for fruit production. Removing the tree has opened a large area of the garden for herbs and perennials - once we add supplements to the soil.

Today Mr. Fuzzy spent almost five hours wrestling a chain saw in the process of reducing a large oak tree to firewood. The tree blew down in a July windstorm and Mr. Fuzzy started to cut it in December - two days before the first 18 inch snow. Needless to say, it is extremely unsafe to operate a chainsaw when you cannot see what is beneath your feet! Now that the snow has melted and the ground surface is relatively dry (slipping could be a fatal error), it is time to go hammer and tongs and make next winter's firewood. It may take another 20 hours to finish the oak tree and clean up the debris (so the hay can be mowed).

Happy Spring time, one and all.

No comments: