Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Takes Her Time

At night while I work on my dollhouse projects or scrapbook downstairs in my craft area, I listen to the radio.  John Tesh  keeps me entertained many evenings playing contemporary pop music and sharing interesting information. The other night, he described a new concept in early childhood education: outdoor pre-school where preschool aged children spend 90% of their time outside. What a concept. One outdoor preschool has a catchy motto: Leave No Child Inside.  Here are two examples: Field and Forest Outdoor PreSchool and the Guelph Outdoor Pre School. Visit these schools to see their missions in early childhood development for they have very interesting programs. According to Tesh's information, children attending such pre schools suffer less stress and less anxiety. Well, of course! Children need the out-of-doors. I have been surprised to learn that so many of your either working teachers or retired educators, so I know that you enjoy taking a look at the new trend in getting littles ones off to a good start. Children need the out door experience. I could spend a lot of time writing about this. My goal for my grandsons since they live in the city is to get them outside as much as possible.

Enter the age of technology.

We picked up our grandsons last Monday so that they could stay with us during their spring break and what fun we had, but it was a challenge some days to drag them away from their technology for they came fully prepared to entertain themselves with their iPad and laptop. But we kept them busy. They came to realize the rigorous farm life tending dairy cows. Little Nathan who will be 7 this week got up every single morning at 5:30 to go with grandpa to help milk the neighbor's two cows.  Nor did Nathan miss a chance to help do the chores here. While the Head Gardener milked, Nathan and I fed our livestock. He cracked me up as he led me through the entire process. He knew exactly how much and which feed every animal received. He knew where to get the feed and where it went, he went most every evenings to help the HG milk.  Jacob, 13, got up a couple of mornings, but declared that he just wasn't used to getting up at 5:30. He did tag along for the evening chores. Their favorite thing was to feed the two week old calf. Obviously, I don't get up at 5:30 to go along to take photos either. Nor did I go "help" in the evening.

The boys loved the rich, fresh milk and wanted to take some home to mom.

On Wednesday we visited the Butterfly Pavilion, about an hour's drive away, just outside of Denver. 

The Pavillon has small collection of the odd, rare, scary critters with Rosie the Tarantula the main attraction. You are not cool if you don't hold Rosie. (I am not cool).

Butterflies are friendly, magical, mystical. 

These three butterflies are the same: Blue Morpho (Brazil). This one seemed to enjoy Nathan's sweet smelling hair.

Luna Moth (US). My favorite

Beautiful tropical flowers.

Both boys enjoyed the walk through nature. The butterfly forest was so relaxing.

Meanwhile, Back At the Ranch

Here are the Garden Spot, Spring slowly emerges, taking her time. It continued to be chilly all week with spells of wind. This week, hopefully, the weather will be warmer so that we can really get some outside chores done. I see so many projects that need attention, all the way from clean-up to little things that we have meant to do year after year. I declare this to be the year to get things done. 

The crocuses in the courtyard continue, looking strong. They have lasted several weeks. The daffodils are still emerging, not having yet reached their pinnacle. The yellow tulips planted next the step in the courtyard smile at me each time I come through the door. They make me happy.

Miss Kim lilac is loaded with new blooms. I can't wait to see her all bloomed out. Last year, she rather fizzled. This year, baring a hard freeze, she should be loaded with purple blooms. 

The center circle has a cleaner look this spring. Heather after spreading the mulch for me late last summer then dosed the area with Snap Shot, a pre-emergent weed control granule. My main weed enemies were two varieties of thistle that I got tired of fighting year after year after year, so in desperation, we applied the pre-emergent, which seems to be working for I don't see any of those nasty thistles so far.

While the spring migration of the songs birds doesn't seem to have started yet, the big, black crows are here. 

The pastures are greening up.

I like to lean on the fence to watch to rabbits and the birds forage in the pasture. Looks pretty quiet right now.

Relocation Plan

Can you believe that this year's chicks have grown so much? They are now fully feathered but need to finish growing. By fall they should be laying eggs. As the bottom left photo shows, they are begging to leave the brooder. They know that there must be more to life. So we moved the roosters around. Chanticleer and Brownie were relocated to other pen with the egg layers, but that just didn't work. Brownie and the rooster were separated from the flock months ago because they were so aggressive. Things haven't changed. They still beat up on the other hens. So the Cuckoo Maran rooster was moved back to the dog crate and the other two took over his pen. We really have to find a new home for the Maran rooster, or the Head Gardener needs to build yet another outdoor pen. The Maran takes up valuable real estate in the chicken compound and doesn't add to the egg production.

So there you have it another Garden Spot week. I'll spend this week working on Nathan's photo album of his first 6 years. He'll be seven Thursday and I need the album finished for his party Saturday. We have finally made a decision to replace the flooring on the main level. What a chore that will be. The new floor in the kitchen, living room, and dinning area will be installed the week of May 1, so I have a lot of packing up of stuff to get the rooms cleared out. I am so excited. It took me a long time to decide what to do. I'll share all of that in May.

Thanks so much for visiting. I love your comments and I enjoy visiting you too.

Linking with Judith at Lavender Cottage.  Make sure to drop by.


  1. Hello, it sounds like a fun and busy week with the grandsons there for a visit. The butterfly Pavilion looks like my kind of place, pretty flowers. That rooster needs to behave himself, lol. I am sure your new floors will be beautiful when completed. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  2. I'm not cool either, Rosie can stay in her box as far as I'm concerned!
    So good to get children outside and off the Ipads!

  3. YOU are a lovely granny, Ann!

  4. There are far more life experiences out of doors, at a farm or butterfly conservatory as you've shown. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv is an excellent read on the same ideas you describe at the beginning of your post.
    No way would I hold a tarantula but give me butterflies up and down my arms and I'd be happy!

  5. Farm life has so much to offer, Ann. Your sharing of your grandson's experience's in the chores seems to go hand in hand with the idea of moving kids out of the classrooms to the outdoors. I live 3 blocks from the elementary school my kids attended. In the spring and fall the teachers and aides take the kids for walks after lunch. I remember mine loving that. Even I have a new perspective and good feeling after I've been out in the fresh air.

    The Butterfly Pavillon looks and sounds fantastic. What a great experience!

    It's very odd how we are all having such high winds. I have a blogger friend in Toronto and she wrote that they have been having huge winds! I worry all the time as we have huge and very old walnut trees surrounding our home, some just 6 feet away.

    Thanks for a newsy post and always for your visits to my wee blog!


  6. Such a good idea to take your grandson to the farm helping with the chores for staying inside means indeed Ipad or computer, technology is only allowed her after five in the afternoon till supper. Always nice to visit a butterfly pavillion, we can do that here too, good idea I have not yet been there with my grandsons. But that tarantula is not my cup of tea....brrr.

  7. Oh I would love to be entertained by you too! What fun...and glad spring is arriving...winter returned here and it is not good.

    and LivingFromHappiness

  8. Moths can be as pretty as butterflies! We had a dry March but it was mostly cold and overcast, not great gardening weather. April has been mixed. I'm yearning for a few nice sunny days. Egretta is on FaceBook a bit more thank blogging. She is also spending most of her time upcycling furniture and painting (a busy woman). My blogging has slipped a bit too. Just too many projects on the go I think. Kelli

  9. Looks like the boys - and the grandparents - had a great spring break. Lovely photos - lots of fun.

  10. I don't want to hold Rosie!! Yikes! Glad u had a great time and got them out in the sunshine and with nature. Such precious memories.

  11. Spring got started here, then promptly left, leaving Winter to return for a few days. It was so darned cold last week, even snowed for a few days! I wasn't happy about that at all. Spring should be back this week, but I need a little sunshine out there. Too many gray skies lately.

  12. Happy spring! More farm life and less screen time is just what every kid needs. :o)