It might be springy.

The snow has retreated to isolated pockets in my yard, and the sun is staying in the sky a few minutes more each day. If not for these signs, I might not have believed reports from other parts of the world that it really is edging towards Spring these days, despite what the calendar tells me.

With Spring comes a renewed interest in being outdoors at the Grady ranch. I've got a list of things to get done that grows by the day. I've had twelve yards of poop delivered to my garden, as a kind of wake up call to the dirt. Twelve cubic yards of composted manure, for those who may not be able to do that kind of mental calculation, equals about one dump truck full. Or, the perfect instant-hill for kids to play King of the Mountain on. I did not tell them they were playing King of Poop. Because it amused me more to keep that secret. This is what kids are for.

A cubic yard of topsoil weighs about a ton. Manure, yard for yard, weighs a little bit less. Either way, it's a big pile of shit. And I'm looking forward to spreading it around pretty liberally.

In a few weeks, there will be a dozen new chicks arriving to replenish the flock. We've gotten in the habit of infusing some new blood each spring, as we seem to lose a few along the way. The tremendous amount of ice and snow this winter caused the lean-to shelter outside the chicken house to collapse, and one of the smaller hens flew out through the resulting hole to "explore." She didn't survive the expedition. And, sadly, my favorite hen of all died of terminal anger. Or something. She was really a very pissy bird. She was the one chicken that would back-talk when you went to collect eggs, consistently broody, and all of the other chickens were a bit frightened of her. I enjoyed her personality.

Rest in peace, angry bird.

There are seeds stacked and ready togo, I've broken out two of my four hoes already in a sort of pre-spring fit of 'damn the snow - I'm going to dig today' fit of optimism. And we're having some work done on the kitchen to prep for the new stove.

I do so love this time of year.