In like a lion…

March arrived with its reputation intact – howling wind and rain ushered in the first day of the month. It has been a long, cold, wet winter on the Far Side. February ended with yet more snow, but it quickly melted away. Despite the low temperatures, the crocus, snowdrops and primulas have popped up. The alder trees are taking on the pinkish hue that precedes their leaf buds and the ravens are building their nest. Although later than usual, spring is on the horizon.

We have nine little lambs so far, with more ewes ready to lamb soon. One ewe, Adele, had a single lamb. That is quite normal for a first-time mom. She has taken good care of her little ram, but she had a very tough delivery and required some barnyard surgery. Robert is becoming a very proficient sheep farmer, learning many skills he probably never imagined needing. The other ewes all twinned. Healthy babies, good moms; the way you want it to be.

Our grandson arrived yesterday for a week-long visit – he brought his mom and dad along as he is not yet three months old. It is such a pleasure to see Nisha and Noah care for their lovely babe – and to see first-time grandpa Robert enjoying cuddle time with his long-awaited grandson. The way you want it to be.

As my health improves – and the weather improves – I will spend more time in the garden. There’s much to do this time of year; cleaning up storm debris, removing those last leaves from the flower beds, pruning, weeding, seed starting and general maintenance in the greenhouse. I won’t be planting a big vegetable crop this year because I will be on an extended trip during peak season in the garden. However, a few early lettuce and arugula plants would be nice. Some early potatoes will go in as soon as the monsoons stop. The garlic is up, and the leeks survived the winter but will have to be pulled soon. I’ll also start some artichoke seeds. I expect we suffered heavy losses from the cold this winter and will have to replace most – if not all – the plants. Artichokes are slow to germinate and benefit from heat. I’ll put the seed tray on a heating mat in the greenhouse to help them along.

Garden planning, grandparent time, and lambing are keeping us busy here. I’m looking forward to warmer days, and hope March goes out like a lamb.