The weather finally appears to be looking up. Even on the cold days, the sun shines warm. It’s starting to feel like we’re no longer in Washington state and more like we’re in the Northeast. The winters here are long, but the promise of spring is worth it.. All except for the fact that we have to go through mud season first.
Mud season is one of my least favorite seasons, right up there with mid-February, where the wind blows so fiercely and the air is so cold that it feels like your very breath is being ripped from your chest. While it’s nice to see little blades of grass turning green, buds swelling, and daffodils peeking out from the mulch, every squelching step throws mud onto your boots and our favorite trails to the coops are pock-marked with boot and chicken prints.
Normally, we move our mobile coops around the pasture every week to give the gals access to new grass directly around the pens (they otherwise can explore as far out as they desire), but just driving around with the Ranger causes rutting, so forget pulling a 300-400lb coop. We just have to be patient until the ground dries out. Until then, it’s a battle to keep the entrances to the coop dried out. The hens thankfully are good at keeping themselves clean through preening and hopping over muddy patches. We’re definitely buying our fair share of wood shavings, and every time I drive past a Tractor Supply, another 5 bags get packed into the trunk. The good news is that in another 6 months, we’ll have plentiful volumes of compost!
We also have some work that’s waiting on things to dry out. At the end of this month, we expect our order of 100 fruit and nut trees to come in, and we’ll need to use the tractor to move soil to plant the trees on mounds so that we don’t have trees drowning in our high spring water table this time around. We also will need to move a few tons of gravel to make the pad for our new “Home Flock” coop. Our berries also need mulched. Problem is, a 4 ton piece of equipment doesn’t mix well with sogged out ground. Just look at the fun thing I did a couple of weeks back…
Unfortunately, time waits on no-one, and the trees and shed will come before the end of the month. We don’t dry out until June. The yard is going to get more of those beautiful ruts… which means that I’ll have alot of backdragging and reseeding work to do. That’s okay though. At least we have the equipment and seed to do it.
“Just two more months” I keep telling myself. “Just two more months and it will dry out”.