My apologies to anyone who landed on this page looking for a good recipe. I couldn't resist. That's Jerry, our boar, coming to see what I'm doing.
The garlic I planted last fall is up and looking good. There's something else in the raised bed, however. Can you spot it below?
Look in the lower center of the photo, a few inches below the dividing board. Still can't see? Here's a closeup:
I had an idea who laid them and, according to my check on the Internet, for what that's worth, I'm correct: They are killdeer eggs. I've had a pair of these birds run or fly away every time I come out to the garden (which hasn't been much, the weather has been atrocious). Earlier today I found a single egg in another raised bed, but these are in an intentional nest, a little hollow in the mulch/leaf litter.
If you are not familiar with killdeer, they're a sandpiper-looking bird that nests out in the open in gravel. The adults will protect their nests in a cool way: If they perceive you as a predator, they'll try to lead you away from the nest by faking a hurt leg. But if you they perceive you as a dumb menace, like a cow that might step on the nest, they fly up in your face and try to startle you.
I've seen nests in people's driveways before doing just fine. So hopefully, they'll put up with me in the garden.
It's a little lonely in the pig department. On Thursday we had all seven of Lucy's litter from last August slaughtered, plus Red, a sow who was not getting bred despite four months of mating with Jerry. We've kept Jerry and Lucy; with any luck they'll get something going. If not, we'll be pigless for a while. If so, we're going to be raising piglets over the winter again, which I don't recommend for sane people but which is pretty much how we roll here at the Lazy J.
At least I'll have two pigs to keep me company while I'm gardening this summer.
Lucy doing her Bat Girl impression:
In other animal news, two of the goats have decided they no longer care for the inconvenience known as a fence. Each morning they hop over and spend the day roaming the yard and mostly just hanging out three feet on the outside of the fence, just because they can.
Friday afternoon they got the wind up and ran all over the place head butting. Goats do that sometimes.
I'll throw in some Mark/Lily photos because she hates the rest of us and won't let anyone else hold her.
But she is entertaining. She likes playing with a ball of waxed paper inside a soda box, and will knock the whole thing from one end of the house to the other with great amounts of noise and banging:
I don't need her anyway. I've got Milo. When he's not hurting me, he's my workout buddy.
Every morning he glues himself to me and tries to get me to pet him. If I'm doing crunches, he lies under my knees. If I'm doing pushups he lies under my chest and gets mad every time I press down. All in all it's not bad, although (a) he does bite if he's ignored too long and (b) cat hair sticks to sweaty skin. (That's Insanity on the TV there, by the way. Have I mentioned what a good workout that is?)
I'm sort of randomly throwing this post together while Easter dinner cooks. Happy Easter to all who celebrate it. Ours is strictly a food and chocolate sort of day, and the ham is resting as I write this.
I'm almost done. I just have to share an incident that happened yesterday. The Vermonters among you will not be at all surprised.
For those of you not familiar with our lovely, rural state: Vermont has the Green Mountain range running north and south the length of the state (we're the V-shaped one on the left; New Hampshire tapers up and it's on the right). If you need to get from the west (where I live) to the east, such as to go to Montpelier for your daughter's AAU basketball tournament in late April, you have to go over the mountains. For your convenience, there are a series of passes over the mountains, mostly known as "gaps." There's the Middlebury Gap, where you'll find the famous Bread Loaf School of English. There's the Brandon Gap, the Bristol Notch, the Lincoln Gap and so on. All are steep and curvy. Most run alongside rivers. Some are closed during the winter; some should be.
Yesterday, we chose the McCullough Turnpike (or Gap), that being the shortest route to Montpelier, which, on a map, looks deceptively close to Middlebury as the crow flies. It was raining.
All was fine until about 6 miles up the winding mountain road heading east, until we came around a hairpin turn and abruptly found ourselves in a winter wonderland, the kind without plows or sand trucks or houses or civilization of any kind but lots of snow and slush and the possibility we would have to eat each other if things got ugly.
I don't know about you, but when I am faced with a straight-uphill snow-and-ice-covered slippery road in the middle of nowhere and my tires are spinning and it doesn't look like we can go forward or back safely, I do the obvious thing: I start to cry.
OK, I didn't actually cry. But I did start saying, "I'mscaredI'mscaredI'mscaredI'mscared" and gripping the wheel, turning it this way and that with no effect. The car got slower and slower and just about gave out all forward motion. Fortunately, there was a pull-off on our right. So I pulled off.
I turned/slid around and we slid down the mountain. Drove another 20 miles north and got on the Interstate and headed back south another 40 miles to get to Montpelier.
We missed the first half of the first game of the tournament and I sprang 47 new gray hairs. But, as it turns out, several people at the tournament had had the same experience as us.
And that, for you flatlanders, is known as Springtime in Vermont. If it had been July, it probably wouldn't have happened.