Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Season's Firsts

The vultures have returned.

No, this is not a joke. The turkey buzzards have returned from their winter vacations in the south.

Before you go ewwww! and make some joke about certain members of our governing body, I love vultures. I love watching them soar and swoop and rise on thermals. I love walking down the road and having a shadow glide down the road in front of me. I love when they swoop so low overhead that I can hear their wings cutting the air.

Vultures mean Summer.

I thought I saw the first one on Saturday, but it was so high and far away that I wasn't sure. On Sunday I saw one clearly enough for a positive ID. On Monday I saw two soaring together. This evening as we sat on the porch eating dinner, eight of them swooped and soared over our homestead.


Among other firsts:

On Sunday was the first harvest of the season: nettles, chickweed, dandelion greens, and wild lettuce, yummy nutritious wild greens.

On Monday I got my first tick bite. Tick checks every night now. I am much more likely to contract a tick-borne disease than one transmitted by other humans right now.

The photos are of kale that made it through the winter beneath a little protection, and now it's going gangbusters. This is Red Russian kale, aka Ragged Jack. It's my favorite variety, as it does well in cold and heat and I love the flavor. In a week or so we'll be harvest kale along with our wild greens. The green all around the kale is mostly henbit. Yes it's a weed. It popped up as winter set in and I let it grow because I didn't have any hay, so it served as a cover crop to keep the soil covered and the beneficial microorganisms therein happy. Late last week I chopped it down, which was quicker than pulling it all. It will pop up again, but I'll deal with that then.

In the meantime, Welcome back, turkey buzzards.

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