The coming of spring greatly influences each of us in many ways. On the farm we have planned for it, but some things still happen with elements of surprise. Just take today, for instance.
Today started with an unexpected early morning phone call. “Hi, I am calling from the post office. I have some chirping chicks here for you,” the caller informed me. I had ordered chicks, but thought it likely that the little balls of fluff would come in another 24 hours. Hurriedly I got ready to go.
Just then, my husband brought up a pail of milk. The cream had been rising to the top overnight. “Skim the cream and I’ll feed the milk to the chickens,” he said. We have a mature rooster and a nice flock of laying hens that consider the cow’s milk to be a treat. I skimmed the cream, grabbed the car keys and set out for the post office.
The chick choir could be heard as soon as I walked in the door. The little birds came in a cardboard box loaded with many breathing holes it. I peeked inside the box to see if all of the little guys made the trip alive. They did!
I strapped the box into the car seat with the seat belt. We set off on the next leg of the hatchlings’ journey to their permanent home… our farm. To keep the peepers healthy and comfortable, I turned on the heater in the car. As I drove into our farmyard, I saw my husband making his way to give me a hand.
I delivered this lively batch of poultry to the brooder house. Inside, a little pen neatly prepared and well-supplied with water and chick feed made the little ones feel at home. We gave each chick a drink of water before releasing it into the pen. As we did, each chick was counted. Our noisy bunch of feathered friends seemed to fit right in at their new domicile.
Later that day, working with animal life turned into supporting the plant life we enjoy in the spring. The brisk springtime winds billowed over the yard with their drying power. I filled a watering jug intending to satisfy the needs of my thirsty potted plants.
As the water splashed gaily into the pail, a sweet aroma attracted my attention. The scent of purple irises surprised and delighted me. Yesterday, the blooms swelled with promise, but today they began to open up displaying their beauty. Their fragrance wafted into my space and drew me in.
The sun’s warmth and the wonders of the garden invited me to observe the splendor of God’s yearly creation. The loveliness of familiar flowers fascinated me. Orange and yellow columbines bobbed in the breeze. A lone, bright and cheerful orange poppy greeted me. The brilliant rosy pink of my azalea captured my gaze. The spherical buds of peonies gave ants the busy job of loosening sepals hiding the potential beauty to be introduced in the garden.
Weeds squeezed in on some plants. Though they make undesired work, the weeds also make a fresh meal for the rooster and his ladies. They clucked on over and devoured them with gusto.
Next, rhubarb needed cleaning. Plants like clover, grass and the ground cover that thinks it deserves to be everywhere, Common Ground Ivy (or otherwise known as “Creeping Charlie”) crowded in. The chickens got a second helping!
My largest rhubarb plant grew an impressive leaf (not including stem) which measured 20 inches by 19 inches. “Such outstanding food must be picked,” I determined. So I made my family a pie.
Does spring inspire? It sure does! Yet the real Source of Inspiration is the One who made the seasons. “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;’” Genesis 1:14.