Spring begins officially with "Wurst Day" at T.J.'s in Mahtowa. Mom and Barb are enjoying the Wurst Band . . .
which, at Barb's request, plays Mom's favorite song: "In Heaven There Is No Beer."
Blossoms are bursting out all over, including on the Nanking Cherry bushes . . .
and the old apple tree
which the Cedar Waxwings find irresistible.
The east woods are filled with delicate flowers
and the occasional Jack-in-the-Pulpit.
Marsh Marigolds are having a great year with all the rain,
spreading all over the low, swampy areas of the woods.
For some reason, the 9 older chickens have slacked off on their egg production,laying as few as 2-3 eggs per day (down from an average of 8 during their best weeks).They may be spending too much time gossiping by the water cooler instead of getting down to business.
Meanwhile, the young chickens are outgrowing their ark and getting eager to move to the chicken coop and big yard.Barb is afraid of what might happen when the young Jets are introduced to the older Sharks, but the youngsters look mean enough to hold their own.
Kim Lasky kindly provided a swanky new set of nesting boxes from her father's farm, which should give everybody a place to lay eggs.
Alba and Niblet are growing apace, looking more like goats now and less like plush toys (as neighbor Gretchen called them).After a hard morning's work (eating, cavorting, pooping), Niblet takes a nap on mom's heinie. All the goats get out to browse several times each day.Swallows have snarfed up all the bluebird houses.But plenty of bluebirds are hanging around, for the abundant bugs.
A goose family appeared out of nowhere, and we were hoping they would raise their goslings in the pond.But they vanished after a couple of days, probably scared away by the noise of construction as our neighbors' new house goes up.Deer appear regularly to check out what's growing in Barb's gardens.
Then head back to the south woods until the peppers are bigger.
Julius celebrates spring exactly as he survived the winter -- by napping. Barb has been selling eggs, goat's milk soap, and photo note cards at the UMD Farmers' Market on Wednesday afternoons.
Customers can't resist her spirited sales pitch.

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