Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Balmy Winter Day

It feels like spring here in the Arizona high desert and it's lovely, but you can't enjoy these warm, sunny days without having that slightly anxious voice at the back of your mind saying, "Yes, this is nice, but it's not normal...and what we really need is deep, dark winter storms to quench the earth before the spring winds parch it even more."

I am nervous about the lack of moisture and am genuinely praying we'll see lots of snow and rain in February and March. Since there's absolutely nothing I can do about the precip situation, however, I decided to say, "Shhh!" to that anxious voice and spend some time outside on our little farm today.

After I'd taken a treat of fresh herbs and popcorn to the chickens and sleuthed around for their eggs, I was walking back to the house when I looked towards the alfalfa fields adjoining our property and saw this.


This is a portion of our little asparagus patch. The same asparagus patch I had planned to cut back in the fall so it would come back fresh and abundant in the spring.

I forgot.

Being a balmy day, I decided to take the matter in hand. After locating some rusty pruning shears, I went to town on these dried and dormant stalks, and was left with this.

It may not look like much now, but trust me, this is now the spot I will be watching most anxiously come spring, because asparagus is among the first crops to arrive when the weather warms, and definitely among my Top 5 Favorites. And, this year, we get to harvest, so I'm extra excited. (Wondering why that even bears mentioning? Read here.)
Being outside and puttering around the place was so good for the soul, it almost made up for what happened when I clenched the pruning shears a bit too hard.

I say almost only because I JUST had my nail appointment yesterday and I won't be going back for another two weeks, and really, who wants to deal with a cracked nail snagging hair and fabric and everything else it comes in contact with for two weeks? (I may be losing farm girl cred for whining about this. That's OK; I prefer to think of myself as multi-dimensional -- farm girl is not my only identity; prissy and professional can also co-exist.)

Since the asparagus photos are as dry and dull as the surrounding landscape during winter, I'll leave you with this picture that shows proof of life on the farm. And I vow to quit taking photos during the noon hour, on my phone, so you aren't looking at these washed out images.

Vow may be a strong word, but, I'll try. Promise.

Here's one of our Henny Pennies, looking extra shiny because she and her friends have been free ranging the past several days, eating lots of protein-filled bugs.  She's even prettier when there isn't a high noon glare washing out the lustre of her feathers. Seriously, I'll try to time my photo captures better.

Before I go, I want to leave you with a little story and a lesson:

When I went outside to see the chickens, I didn't know I would be doing yard work so I didn't put on an apron and I didn't have anything on with pockets. Well, I needed to put the pruning shears somewhere while I carried the asparagus stalks to the garden to compost. Being a girl with a perfectly sturdy (sorry male readers) bra on, I figured what's good enough for an iPhone is good enough for pruning shears. 

Actually, not so much.

I didn't need a Band-Aid, but ow, nonetheless.

Lesson: There is absolutely no reason to ever, ever be without an apron whilst wandering one's property.

OK, go think moist thoughts for Arizona, please.

Love from the farm,

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