A Few Warm Days in February

February 11th, 2009

Storms and rain since yesterday, but we had a really nice run of warm weather and I took advantage of the time to catch up on outdoor chores.   It was even time to clean up the garden and prune a host of shrubs.  The timing worked out well with today’s rain- I was able to burn a small garage-sized pile of brush that had accumulated since November.  I only burn in small piles, after (or during) rainfall, when the winds are calm.   The temperatures are dropping back down to the forties now, but yesterday was amazing.  I was out in a t-shirt in 70 degree weather happily mulching the garden.   Maybe in a few months that will change to happily munching in the garden!

It was time to paint the old bluebird nest boxes too.  Soon we will learn about building some new bird houses- they seem quite simple, and it’s great to teach children to learn more about safe use of tools and carpentry.  I like to browse Ted’s Woodworking Plans, because it offers so many varieties of plans and ideas for use around the home and farm.   

As for the old birdhouses- there’s always some paint around that can be used for something.  The young boy loves to paint! So that was his new project.

 Painting Bluebird nest boxes

The weather was so warm we saw a handful of bugs flying around.  Last night this little critter landed on the glass door- the young boy stood on the inside saying it looked like a T, so we called it a T-bug.   I went out and took its picture, and didn’t realize until looking at the picture today that he had traced his own T on the opposite side of the glass.  Update:  A little Googling revealed this critter is in the family of Plume Moths…

The T-Bug

Now we need to find some organic mulch or compost to topdress the garden rows, and we’ll be ready to plant starts and seeds next month or early April.  Before last year I had accumulated enough leaves and grass clippings to have our own mulch, but last year the bagger broke and I just cut the leaves up on the grass.   Going to fix that this year and keep building our own mulch pile again- it’s too easy to have your own, and too expensive to get it someplace else.  Of course if we had some goats or chickens that would be different…  heck, if things get any worse out there we may need to…  

Nothing like a helping hand of the loader bucket to carry the brush and clippings away.  I really like roses… but it’s not fun pruning them.  We’re still experimenting with growing vegetables organically, keeping the weeds down and improving the soil. 

 Cleaning up the garden

I have not found an easy method for trimming weeds and bushes yet, but it’s probably more like that old quote about hard work and “gardens needing lots of moisture”… it’s mostly in the form of perspiration! 

Ted's Woodworking Plans

4 Responses to “A Few Warm Days in February”

  1. pamela

    I feel like a slacker after reading your list of accomplished tasks.
    That wasn’t very nice.

  2. In all my years, I have never used a drop of chemical in the garden and I’ve never had a weed or bug free garden either. I’ve just learned to work around those things to enjoy what I have. The last decade has been fairly easy to control the bugs as my small gardens are only big enough for a few different kinds of things. I generally rotate from year to year so bugs don’t become an issue. This year I’m thinking navy beans and something else. Someday when I have some more land, I hope to raise a bigger garden like yours and then by then, you will have all the kinks worked out and can share your secrets.

  3. R. Sherman

    I’ve never seen an insect like that. Did you try to look it up?

    Congrats on the garden work. There are so many things I need to get done, but time seems to disappear with work related stuff such that all I want to do is chill out on the couch.


  4. Pamela- See how well my imaginative, creative writing effort has worked out? Now I really need to go out and do those things ;)
    Ed- That is awesome- it’s been a slow process, and I’m only starting to understand concepts that you probably take for granted!
    R.- Well, since you asked, I did! It’s called a Plume Moth of sorts. What particular sort I have no idea, but a very interesting family of critters. I hope you have more time… I certainly enjoy digging for couch potatoes too. But Lazy-boy is my preferred variety!

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