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Spring is busting out at the farmette

It's a chilly but clear day at the farmette. About one degree Celsius. Spring has officially arrived, even if there's still snow piled up in the corners.

The Canada geese have returned, and this morning when I went out to do my early duties, the cacophony from across the street reminded me of Turkey Supper night in the basement of Frome United Church. The vultures are back, as are the red-wing blackbirds with their distinctive trill.

Our snowdrops are peeking up through the leaf trash that I didn't get around to clearing last fall.

We had a feathered visitor last week on the front stoop. A plump, healthy pheasant decided to take a stroll around the property. Rob happened to be looking out the window at the time, and I tried - with limited success - to get a shot.

If you look between the gridlines of the window screen, you can make out the ringed neck. He was so beautiful in real life. Bright red around his eyes, coppery glistening feathers and a long, graceful tail.

It was a great little moment and one more to put in the books for living in a rural setting.

The crocuses are sending their green spears up through the snow against the south fence and the furry sumac that grows in front of the sunroom window is budding up nicely.

We can tell it was a hard winter because most of the shrubs - including my gorgeous bridal wreath spirea - have been gnawed back to about a foot from the ground. The bunnies must have been extra hungry during the winter of '18-'19. I just hope the poor bushes can bounce back.

I gave a sigh of relief yesterday when we were out clearing up the (thousands) of branches and limbs that had fallen during wind and snowstorms because my tulip tree survived, in spite of my neglect.

We are at the very northern edge of where these guys normally thrive, and planting this one was somewhat of an experiment.

I coddled it through two previous winters by swaddling it with burlap. But I fell down on the job this year and forgot. With the temperatures plunging to as low as -30C, I thought was a goner, but the tree came back. Yay.

Finally, in a frenzy of pruning, I took all the low-hanging and dead limbs - that I could reach - off the big spruce that grows beside the driveway. Rob's the lawn mower guy and I don't want him clonking his noggin as he goes about his chores.

Looking forward to many more days of sun, warmth and growth will come at the farmette. Until next week.

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