The simple pleasure of a spring weekend

Contented collie.

Today was just about as close to perfect as it gets.

We met up with my friend Sam in Chaffee this morning, got a tour of the gorgeous Queen Anne house she’s restoring, and followed her out to her dad’s farm to pick up compost starter. It’s been a long time since I scooped horse manure out of a barn. I should do that more often; it’s good for the soul.

After we got back from Chaffee, we went and had lunch (I had a very passable chicken-fried steak at the Sands Pancake House on 61 here in Cape) and then got to work. We layered the manure with dry leaves in the compost bin, cleaned out the pond, landscaped the area where we plan to put the beehives, measured the garden, bought fencing materials to keep the dogs out of the plants, and picked up equipment and feed for the quail chicks I’m getting later this week.

I cannot begin to explain how good all that felt. Last year was wonderful, but I really missed the amenities we had in Tulsa — bees, chooks, pond and garden. I’d still like five minutes with whatever idiot thought it was a good idea to ban backyard chickens, but if I can’t have chooks, quail should make a fairly acceptable substitute.

A few visual highlights:

Mulch cloth, edging and three bags of cypress mulch should keep the weeds down around the beehives, which we’re setting up next month.
As we start Year 2 in the Darwin Garden, we have at least two survivors: this strawberry plant …
… and these chives. I love the dependability of chives.
Riggy guards the compost bin, which is now full of horse manure and dry leaves — the perfect balance of browns and greens.
Best friends enjoying a pretty afternoon in the backyard.
Ron helped refill the pond after I bailed the murky water out of it. We have established that it holds approximately 50 gallons.

I also found time this weekend to make yogurt, get a massage and a haircut, put together a couple of Eco-Saturday posts, check out Cape Comic Con, and make a batch of laundry detergent.

I’m tired and dirty and sore and happy, which is as it should be.

Hope your Sunday was good, wherever you are.