Snow is in the forecast for later this week, but today was clear, warm, and still. I decided to do a bit of spring cleaning in the herb garden outside my kitchen door.
I gathered the necessary hand tools, fetched the wheelbarrow, set the solar-powered radio in the sun, and got to work. Spent stalks of last fall's flowers, left for the bees' last foraging, were clipped and tossed. A couple of the hens have been hopping the little picket fence. Their scratching (ewww, it smells like the cat's been in here too) had turned the once-level ground into little pits and mounds. They'd also scattered the rocks filling the drainage trench beneath the eaves across half the bed. Working with a leaf rake, I got most of the rocks and dirt mounds back in place, debris destined for the compost pile into the wheelbarrow.
There were some pleasant surprises - a green-shelled egg (one of our Amerucana/Brown Leghorn cross-breed hens has been here - it sank and laid down when submerged in water, so I know it was fresh, but had a crack in one side - probably froze overnight - so I tossed it), sprouting tips of the earliest daffodils starting to emerge, and beneath the lilac, a bright yellow bud of the first crocus.
The hours passed with the simple joy of getting my hands back in the dirt. The shadows lengthened. I moved the radio a couple of times, chasing the patches of sunlight, until I finally had to go find the power cord and set it up on a bucket near the electrical outlet. I'd finished with the herb garden, and started cutting suckers out of the lilac by the time Aries came home from work. Time to put my tools away and empty the wheelbarrow so he could use it to bring in firewood. In the last bit of light, I made a couple of trips down below the vegetable garden, fetching up big pieces of wire fencing to lay down over everything. After all that work, I had to make sure the hens (or cat) couldn't scratch it all up again.