March 19, 2012 — Catawba River District Voices

Spring is officially here on March 20th this year … but I venture to say most of us would bet that it’s been here for a while. At least when I look around our farm, the evidence points to an early arrival.

First of all – the warm weather. The horses are loving it. No winter coats, lots of sunshine and delicious green grass sticking up in their fields. Our female horse, Marge, hates the cold.

During the winter days, I’ll often see her sitting (kind of a lie down, sit position for a horse) in the middle of the field, with her horse blanket on, eyes closed looking miserable. I can almost hear her saying, “I hate the cold. I hate the cold.” So no surprise that she’s loving life right now.

The chickens are laying eggs like crazy, the goats are chasing each other around like a bunch of kindergarteners, and the cows are making enough noise to wake me up at 5 in the morning.Our lab, Maggie, who is an outside dog, loves to nonchalantly weasel her way into the house during cold weather. She thinks we won’t notice as she slinks in to lie on my family room rug. “Oh, what is this stuffed dog doing in here?” With these warm days, Maggie can be found sprawled out in my herb garden. Do you really have to lie on my lavender?

But the biggest surprise happened this morning. As I was out in the garden, surveying the various vegetables we’ve just planted, I spied…. spears of asparagus. OK … maybe that didn’t freak you out, but asparagus doesn’t usually come up until April. What is going on here? Not just one, but multiple spears of asparagus are popping up.

Another bizarre happening in March…. fire ants. I’ve already knocked down 3 large piles of those vicious critters. Last year we didn’t have many at all due to a cold winter. With such a mild winter, we could be in for a large infestation

So buckle up for a wild ride this year. Spring has sprung substantially earlier than usual, so we’ll see what Mother Nature has in store for us.