Monday, April 27, 2009

Garden and Bird News

We saw our first hummingbird of the season yesterday, the earliest I have ever seen one on Hosner Mountain. Mrs Vache Folle starts putting out nectar in mid-April in case any migrant hummers would like a drink of sugar water on their way to the Maritimes. Our resident birds didn't show up until May 9 last year, but I suspect we'll see them sooner if the temperature stays hot.

Also making appearances this weekend: rose breasted grosbeak, tree swallow (first ever sighting on the property), and a pileated woodpecker (first ever on the property). The pileated woodpecker has a call that sounds a bit like Woody Woodpecker, and that's what allowed me to sight him.

We planted the raised beds. It took nearly six yards of topsoil on top of a layer of detritus. Now we have to figure out a way to keep Jasper from wallowing in them. He likes to swim in the pond after frogs and then roll around in the garden beds until he is covered with dirt before he goes back in the house. Thank goodness we have housekeeping help now.

I got in the pond on Saturday and took out a great deal of muck from the sump. I have a lot more to get out, so I expect to spend some time in the pond over the next few weekends. I have figured out that using a net works better than a shovel, although the full net is pretty heavy. The methane under the rotting leaves and detritus is a little hard to take sometimes, but the pond ain't gonna muck itself. I have lots of swampy places where a little pond muck would be welcome. Grass grows great on pond muck.

Mrs Vache Folle and I improved the retaining wall and the planting beds on them, and it looks way better. She is very helpful at keeping me from doing a half assed job even if she does sometimes try to work out of sequence.

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