Midwest) has been hammered with heavy storms from back to the first of the year. I really don't know what our annual rainfall amounts are up to now, but I do know that there are places on the farm that still haven't dried out. (My back yard being one of them). Almost every night the last week violent storms with heavy rains have moved through during the night. So far we have been blessed to not have any serious direct wind damage or tornadoes here around the farm. My Chinese Elms in the front of the place have taken a severe beating and have lost at least three heavy large limbs. I also had a limb twisted out of my redbud here in the yard. The big wild Cherry tree still remains down on the fence. Others have not been so fortunate and have lost lives, homes or buildings. It still strikes fear into my heart, when the storms come up. That is if I can get awake enough.....
I have appreciated most of the rain (okay some of it ;-), but it really has been too much of a good thing at times. Along with the cooler temperatures in the early Spring, it seems it has had the opposite affect than one would desire on the hay fields. There was growth, but when I went out to look through the fields, I found most of the field very thin, with many bare places where grass hadn't come up. I suspect that the first hay cutting will be of minimal quality, and that will be if the farmers can even get into the fields. I'm hoping that there are second and third cuttings, and that they will be a lush and full crop. I know hay prices will be astronomical anyway, what with the gas prices, if there is a shortage, it could get very rough.
On to other more pleasant topics. I've been spending most of my free time this past week, working on the place. There was allot of mowing needing to be done, and I'm still planting garden. I know... a little late, huh? All the tomato, and pepper plants are in, as well as some watermelon and cantaloupe. Still working up the pumpkin patch. I've also planted several areas to flowers. I seeded some spinach and lettuce, but evidently the seed was so old it wasn't any good. So I'm planning to reseed that bed. I also planted some cabbage. I have never planted cabbage, but at the local Amish store, they were giving the plants away. I've also planted some flower annuals--marigolds, dianthus and begonias. Things are starting to shape up. There for awhile every Spring, it seems I only have a tenuous hold on the 'wild things', and can barely keep even with the growth. Finally things will slow down and I can start to make inroads. The gardens take shape, the yard begins to look less wild. It's still hard to pass off the rampant fescue growth at the gate as 'ornamental grasses' though.
I'm getting ready to work over the mess of a backyard. I'll do a separate post on that. It's a terrible mess, did I say that? So far I've had the mowing crew come in and try and make some headway on it. (This mowing crew is four-legged and works for food). Since all the heavy rains this year, my backyard pathway has become a miry swamp area. I travel this pathway heavily as it leads to the barns and sheep pastures. My goal is to build up the area and then put down sand, gravel and some stepping stones. I'm still working on the 'building up the area'. Yesterday, I did buy the gravel and stones. I have the sand from the weight bags I use in my truck--the bags disintegrated this year. I've been using old kitty litter for fill, and will put in a layer of wool scraps to help increase the fill. I'm excited about it, and hope it turns out nice. I also bought Boone a much larger pool this year. Poor guy barely fit in the other one. It's so terribly humid that all the animals are moving slowly (including me). Boone especially seems to take it hard, with his large build and smashed in nose.
Hopefully I'll get time to post and can show 'real progress' on the back yard path in this next week.
Have a great one!