We’ve had days of unyielding gray skies and temperatures hovering right around the freezing point with little or no change in heat or light quality throughout the course of the day. The weatherman has been sorely wrong with his forecasts to boot, dangling the carrot of sunshine in front of our hungry faces, but withholding even the scent of the prize. I’ve been teetering right on the edge of losing my composure several times recently. I just can’t help it. I feel like a groggy old bear stumbling out of hibernation, a little testy and hungry for something fresh to eat. Last week’s spring tease was just too fresh in my mind, leaving me longing for what wasn’t there: sunshine and warmth.

My living room is filled with baby plants. There’s a giant stack of trays right beside the woodstove for germination, making travel into the kitchen a bit of a Houdini act. Pepper and tomato plants are strung out on the coffee table and bookshelf, craning their little necks toward the windows and the sorry amount of light filtering in. Then there’s the added bonus of children wanting to play toss-the-ball over the trays of plants… one missed catch could easily decapitate a pepper plant. (Did I mention mama bear was feeling a tad testy?) Our unheated greenhouse just wasn’t doing the trick keeping the plants warm so the house was the best option. However, we very nearly yanked the woodstove out of the workshop in the barn for temporary relocation in the greenhouse just to get us through until the sun shone. Normally in mid-March, this is not an issue at all. Normally, the greenhouse is roasty-toasty and needs the plastic flap doors rolled up for ventilation. Just a tiny blast of sunshine heats the small space up quickly, and the thermal mass of the black-painted water barrels holds the warmth quite well. This year those barrels haven’t even had the chance to warm up yet. This year is different.

Regardless of the slow transition from winter to spring this year, the seasons will shift nonetheless. Spring will come. And since our livelihood depends on it, I sure as shootin’ hope it comes! Anyhow, we have to roll along despite our occasional desire to stay holed up in the house with a warm cup of tea in hand. IMG_6232Here, the kiddos help Papa pot-up sweet and hot peppers into bigger soil blocks. (Yes, yes… the sun is shining in several of these recent pictures. You’re gonna think I’m just being dramatic with my stories! I’m pretty sure those moments of sunshine were fleeting, though! Always clearing at the end of the day to insure a colder night, and to let the big full moon shine in the window, heightening my testiness with a touch of lunacy!) IMG_6235 IMG_6236 IMG_6242The chickens spent the winter parked on deep straw litter in part of our fenced garden. A gut instinct last fall hinted that this winter might be a good one for keeping them parked (their coops are really hard to move when they are frozen to the ground!) instead of keeping them on the pasture rotation. Good thing for instincts! Well, this week they got moved back out on pasture and re-incorporated in the livestock rotation. Now the ladies can really get to work laying eggs and sanitizing the pasture.IMG_6245 IMG_6247 IMG_6254Can you see Ira up on the hill, shepherding the wool sheep through the forest? We are all desperate for a bite of something green.IMG_6255 IMG_6256 IMG_6257As always, children have the adaptive sense to embrace any given moment and enjoy it. Mama bear needs to take a lesson.IMG_6270This afternoon, that blanket of gray sky cracked open giving us another tempting taste of spring sunshine. The weatherman says tomorrow in Bugtussle will be mostly cloudy. Oh, how I do hope he’s wrong again!IMG_6261

8 thoughts on “growl.

  1. Our week has started out with those dull, gray winter mornings, weak sun, as you described. I have been putting off the daily walks with the dogs, hoping that it will warm up as the day progresses, and sure enough, the past two days have ended with sun. Weather sure isn’t predictable!

  2. I know just how you feel Cher. The weather has been so wacky that the tomato seeds I normally would have planted in February still have not seen soil! Today I will begin planting regardless of what the weatherman says or what the clouds do.

    • Yep. We’ve been proceeding with planting despite what the weatherman says, too. The forecasts have been soooo off, we are considering not even paying attention to them anymore. When I was talking to Coree the other day, she made a good point by saying she wished the weather forecasters would at least apologize for their errors. But that just doesn’t happen, does it? Ha!!

  3. We are very jealous of you. This week, up here in Maine, we revisited January with daytime highs in the upper teens. When I went out to do chores the other morning, just as the sun was peeking above the horizon, the thermometer read -12. Tonight we are supposed to get a few inches of snow. This winter sure is holding on.
    Last week it rose into the upper 30’s and our kids put on their short sleeves, took off their boots and ran around in any bit of ground that wasn’t a foot deep in snow. You really have to admire their ability to seize the moments they are given!
    I hope the sun begins to shine for you.

    • Indeed… this is not Maine and with that in perspective I really have no grounds to complain!!! -12!!! EEEgads!!! It’s just the expectation of what is normal for this time of year that is so hard to overlook, no matter where we live.
      On an aside, years ago I placed your etsy shop in my “favorites”. What a coincidence.
      Thank you for your nice words,

      • That’s funny. Years ago I worked for Johnny’s and I was supposed to come and visit you guys, but Jeff Poppen kept me too long at his place and I ran out of time. I was excited to visit too. We’re planning to move to TN as soon as we can sell our place up here, so maybe someday we’ll get a chance to visit.

      • Ha! You got sucked into the classic Jeff time warp! What a small world. I would love to have a chance to visit… be well, cher

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