Once again, I accomplished everything on my list for today. That's because I don't make a list until the end of the day, when I list everything I accomplished. It's too depressing to make a list in the morning of all the things I should get done. Too often by evening I've done six other things but nothing on my list.
Today I had a hope of mowing the garden and weeding the rest of the rose bed. The garden must be mowed before it can be tilled. That's how sorry a state our garden patch is in. But when I climbed into the horse hay loft this morning, I noticed a bundle of white fence posts for an electric fence and remembered that I had planned to fence the horses away from the swamp months ago, before the water receded enough to lure them in, where they totally wreck the plants and upset the foraging and nesting wild things. Johnny must have bought the fence posts and put them in the loft for me, who knows how long ago. (I'm not terribly observant.)
The horses are now wrecking the swamp and I really needed to get on with that project today. But before I could do that, I had to fix the fence where a baby goat insists on going through, but does not have the brains to get back again and runs up and down the fence line screaming her head off. In the process of doing this, I moved the llamas and sheep to a new field which meant their dog guardian, Shirley, went with them, but also meant the goat guardian, McCoy, slipped through, too... to play with Shirley. This is not good because Shirley, in her efforts to get rid of McCoy, takes him through the fence and off the property. I think she hopes he'll not know how to get home.
This was starting out to be another Bad Dogs, Good Birds day, such as I mentioned that I was going to write about some time back. However there have been so many Bad Dogs, Good Birds days that I'm not sure which one I meant. It was probably the one when I was in a hurry to finish chores so we could drive to Tillamook and meet our birding buddies, John and Barbara Woodhouse. The dogs, sensing my hurry, managed to get themselves on the wrong side of every gate I opened while moving the horses to their day pasture. But we did eventually get to Tillamook and found all the Black Oystercatchers we had hoped to find.
Today's Bad Dogs day was only mildly bad because Shirley, smart dog that she is, knew if she tricked McCoy into going through the gate I was holding open, I would slam the gate shut after him, leaving her on the other side of the fence with her llamas and sheep... and freedom from the pest. And that's exactly what happened. They raced around playing until it was Shirley's turn to chase McCoy. She chased him toward the gate. He dashed through. I shut the gate. Shirley happily bounced off to her llamas and sheep who were on the far side of the field by now.
I suppose this was a Good Birds day, too, since every day is in spring. The Black-headed Grosbeaks sing their melodious song off and on all morning. Brilliantly rufous Rufous Hummingbirds visit the feeder outside our kitchen window and do their display dives over me whenever I invade their territory, which seems to be everywhere.The baby owl that fledged two days ago was back in the nest box today. The owlets often return to the box off and on for a week or two before leaving for good. We only had one owlet survive this year. I rather hate to see him go.
With morning chores done, I found a scrap of stock panel and stuffed it in the gap the baby goat has been getting through. Now I was ready for the horse fence project. I did not, however, have it very well planned out. When I'd first decided where to put the fence extension, nothing was leafed out and it looked fairly simple to clear a line to the creek. Not so now. I changed direction.
The fence that I created today heads through open country to the gate between our neighbors' horses and ours. Our horses and their horses like to commune across the gate and they'll still be able to. But my horses will not be able to go from there into the swamp. If my fence works. I am not too good with electricity. I tied the new fence to the old fence and hope the little electrons, or whatever it is that zaps you when you touch an electric fence, don't get too confused passing through the knots. There are, actually, quite a few knots. I used up two short stretches of old fence plus a stretch of new fence, tying each to the next so that my pretty white fence tape has little bows in several places along its length.
Then I mowed the garden. It will take several more mowings to tame that jungle.
At long last, I was ready to finish weeding the rose bed. I would have taken a before and after picture but it would be too embarrassing. There was nothing to be seen in the rose bed except very tall grass before the weeding, which has taken me three days. Now there are roses, peonies, lilies, and asters (in leaf, not flower). Hopefully, when they bloom we'll be able to see them.
The rest of the beds are a mess. But the iris and forget-me-nots and columbine are all blooming visibly in the midst of or above the grass and wild buttercups. I don't have flower beds: I have meadows.
My day would not be complete without a tour of the jungle room/greenhouse and photos taken of whatever is newly in bloom. May and June are orchid cactus months in the jungle room. Mornings and evenings are full of the fragrance of these lovely flowers. Many more colors are yet to open, giving a long season of flowers to enjoy... without grass and weeds.