The winter months are waning, and in the distance, we can hear snow geese starting to fly over, and even a single killdeer was seen along our drive. Spring is trying to turn the corner on winter and we are all anxious to move on now -for warmer weather and color once again.
Winter helps us to enjoy spring all the more so just because of its gentle breezes and beautiful colors in the garden. It is also a time for calving, and in our instance, the end of lambing.
The other day I was reminded about Paul Harvey's "So God made a Farmer" when one my kids came to the house with a shout out that a calf was missing while it was pouring rain outside.
As I hurried out the door to help look, here came the farmer, carrying that one-week-old calf in his arms and gave it back to its momma. There was a happy reunion between momma and baby plus one relieved farmer.
So, evidence of spring is coming - between the chickadees singing their love songs in the trees and those same said trees showing the buds of what will soon become leaves and flowers.
We have not yet started our spring walkabouts, looking for flowers trying to shoot up because we simply have too much snow on the ground yet at our farm.
We are grateful for every bit of rain and snow that is coming.
Yes, it does run off because the ground is frozen, but for those of us who depend on ponds for livestock to drink, it fills them up; the rivers, lakes and marshes that sit all around our area, too.
It is at this time of the year that I start to look for my gear for my garden and make sure it is lined up and ready to go. I don't push it too much because it seems that we are about two weeks behind in my gardening season than those who live in town.
I am always a little anxious about late frost. It is good to get a start on those tillers, hoes and other equipment that should be looked at once more. You may have forgotten to look over that broken hoe or rake, and maybe you just plain need a new one.
Our equipment, if taken care of, will take care of us this year. It will make some of those hard jobs just a bit easier. If you need a new hoe or rake, these things are showing up in the stores now, and you won't have to rush to the store at the last minute.
Do you have some reliable string to make those straight rows in your vegetable garden? Do you have markers for your rows or for your planters? Have you started sowing seeds indoors yet? Did you make that catalog order or did you find out if your favorite local garden center will be carrying that same item?
You can also start your own painted landscape design while you are waiting for winter to come to its conclusion. There are some great books out there that will help you.
Lin Wellford's book is one that I am fond of. She does a great job with instructions on how to paint rocks that end up looking like flowers or animals.
You can also find out a cute way to paint some of the rock borders that you might have around some of your gardens to add that extra special touch to your garden. She also even explains how to make a flat rock look like a water pond. This is especially nice for those of you who do not want to mess with the water and fish. It will have your neighbors and friends looking twice to see if it is real.
For more information on gardening, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the date, April 13, for the Lyon County Master Gardener Gardening Day program which will be held in Marshall. Details forthcoming!
Also, don't forget about Horticulture Day at the Experiment Station in Lamberton on April 4. Check out the website at http://swroc.cfans.umn. edu.