Frost Advisory in Effect…That was the latest headline on the weather app on my phone. That was on May 20th and yes, it was a bit chilly getting up. Since it is late May, I absolutely refuse to turn on the heat and we really don’t have much wood left to burn until we order more so right now when it is this cold we just bundle up and bear it.
The one thing you can count on in New Hampshire is that the weather is never consistent. Back in 2005 and 2006 we had spring floods that washed away whole buildings. This spring, in contrast, we have seen very little rain and a moderate draught has been declared. Just a few weeks ago we had temperatures in the 80’s, yesterday’s high was in the 50’s and with a 25mph wind, it felt even colder than that.
Since my focus is to be more “glass half full” you could look at it this way…cool temps and gusty winds keep the bugs away. And this time of year, we have an abundance of them.
May flies, or black flies, are small black bugs that are notorious for flying into your eyes or up your nose. I have no idea what attracts them to eyes, but it never fails that at least once I am in the bathroom trying to locate one of those little buggers somewhere under my eyelid.
At first they don’t bite, they just fly around and get in your face, but then they get hungry and any exposed skin is fair game.
They are called May flies because they usually only exist in May. Once they suck your blood and lay their eggs, they die off until next year. I have yet to determine a purpose for these things and as far as I’m concerned no one would be upset if they became extinct, but here they are with no sign of disappearing anytime soon.
Despite all this, May is one of my favorite times of year. The leaves are growing and have that yellowish-green tint to them and many of the wonderfully smelling flowers are blooming. Apple trees are flaunting their delightfully dainty pink blooms and attracting the honey bees, our old pear tree in the front was recently covered in white flowers, and daffodils and tulips were adding vibrant color everywhere. My all-time favorite is the purple lilacs that have such a lovely smell to them. They don’t last very long, but I truly enjoy them when they are here.
On the homestead I have planted several different vegetables in the garden so far and have found I have a little more room for a few more. So far we have corn, squash, cucumbers, beans, several types of tomatoes, peppers, bok choy, lettuce and sunflowers. I want to add some hot peppers, a few more tomatoes and peas.
Our herb garden is doing well, too. The chocolate mint is starting to take over and will need to be cut back. We also have lemon thyme, sage, parsley, lavender, basil, chives and marjoram. I planted some chamomile and dill seeds, but I’m not sure they are going to make it.
The chicken coop is almost complete and just in time, too. Our “girls” are turning into young “ladies” and it’s time they headed outside. For now they will share their coop with our new ram and buckling. The ram is almost old enough to realize that the girls don’t have cooties and we’ll want to keep him separate until it’s time for him to do his “duty.” We are very excited about the ram and the two ewes and think (hope) we’ll have some really nice offspring next year.
Our little buckling (Mighty Quinn) has been hanging out with the twins for now as he is only a month old and still too young to know the difference between boys and girls. Jack, on the other hand, has become a little too possessive of his sister and he will need to be “wethered” soon. This is something neither my boyfriend nor I are looking forward to, but it is something that needs to be done.
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and will give us an extra day to work on fencing and housing and gardening. The weather is looking to be semi-decent if still a little cool for my tastes. But just like we do every year, we’ll just bundle up, grin and bear it.