The VERY First Signs of Spring

Spring IS coming…  Right???

The goats venture outside

The goats venture outside

There is such a major contrast between last year’s spring and this year’s.  Last year by this time, temperatures in the 70’s or even 80’s were not uncommon.  The problem was that it would still dip back to normal – or below – in between.  The result was that almost no one around here got any fruit from trees because they all budded and started to set fruit with the warm temps – and then we had 3 or 4 frosts and freezes, which killed off the fruit.  So, no apples, pears, peaches or plums.  It was very sad.

This year?  Well.  Those of us who use FaceBook have probably seen at least on joking picture of Punxsatawny Phil with a sign saying, “I lied,” or laying on the ground with a pistol laying on him because he committed suicide because he was wrong.  More than 6 weeks has passed, and last night IL (and other states) got MORE snow.  Some places were supposed to get 6″ or more!  We happen to live in the northern section of this particular storm, and we probably got 1″ – maybe 2″.  But still.  At the beginning of March it was creeping into the 30’s and 40’s.  Last week the lows were in the teens!  Seriously?  When we finally got into the 30’s at night 2 weeks ago, I moved my buck back to his own pen.  And now we’re dealing with freezing water.  Again.  This has turned into a VERY long winter.

But, despite the very low temps at night, the daytime temps were warm enough that on a couple of days our goats actually all came outside to catch some rays!  It helps that this particular side of the barn faces south, and the white walls reflect the sun and makes it warmer.  But it was very nice to see them all outside and to see the new kids venturing out farther than they’ve ever been in their short lives.  And then there’s the peacocks.  Their tails are about as filled out as they’re going to be this year (two of them are still young).  And they are getting spring fever and trying to impress everyone with their tails to attract a mate.  So, here are some pictures taken one morning last week, during chore time.  Sorry for the lack of green plants, but they aren’t emerging just yet.

The young peacocks show off to an unimpressed audience.

The young peacocks show off to an unimpressed audience.

Young peacocks

Young peacocks

Caesar on the water trailer.  He's our oldest peacock.  We raised him from a chick.

Caesar on the water trailer. He’s our oldest peacock. We raised him from a chick.

Peafowl and chickens, and a guinea, waiting for breakfast.

Peafowl and chickens, and a guinea, waiting for breakfast.