Bring on Spring

I spent yesterday afternoon in the backyard. I managed to clean out the henhouse/coop with help from my 4 year old nephew - who gladly scooped poop for about an hour without complaint. I dread the day when he discovers that this is WORK and not as fun as he thought it used to be. Until then, I welcome his help!! The hens weren't sure what to make of this miniature person in their coop and several of them stood in there with him to "supervise'. So cute!

We have a 3' x 4' fish pond that was quite a labor of love for us. About 4 years ago we decided to dig the pond on July 4th - the hottest day of that entire year. Needless to say, neither of us were happy campers during the process, but we LOVE how it turned out.

Our pond has been home to up to 11 goldfish at any given time. Last year was the first year that we spotted little tiny baby goldfish! We've also have had tadpoles, frogs and snails. Over the years our little goldfish have survived frigid temps and have hunkered down at the bottom of the pond in the winter. We are always so happy and relieved to see them alive and well when spring temps thaw the pond. Yesterday, while removing the net covering from the pond, a HUGE frog appeared from the depths. I am so happy he has decided to make our little watering hole his home again this year. He seemed a bit lethargic from his winter's sleep.We've gotten quite a group of butterflies that visit our butterfly bushes that grow only the pond, as well. The next step - over coming weeks - is to bring the plants up from the bottom of the pond and then begin to landscape the border around the pond.

Our hens enjoy putzing around the pond. The backyard birds have claimed it as their meeting place on the hottest of summer days, drinking from the spitter and perching on the rocks to rest their little wings. One afternoon we were visited by a HUGE blue heron. We've been really lucky not to have a problem with the herons - thanks in large part to our two big labs who keep them at bay. The heron that visited that day was beautiful, but I am glad we haven't seen him since. I look forward to watching our backyard habitat become a bustling home to wildlife and our pets. Just this weekend our two resident morning doves were spotted building a nest in the border trees of our yard. I am fascinated by their diligence and their teamwork as they gather twigs and string to build a home for their babies. Bring on Spring!

TBA Readers - What spring rituals do you have? How do you usher in this season of rebirth and growth? Do you have any outdoor activities that you look forward to with the arrival of spring? Does your backyard serve as home to any wildlife? Share your stories....

P.S. As I type this it is 30 degrees here in the Philadelphia suburbs with a wind chill in the 20s. Not feeling Spring so much this AM, but looking forward to what the warm sun has in store for us today.


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