My almanac says that today "the soft presence of the ladybeetles tips the balance toward spring." Well, maybe...but we've had some inside since fall. They gather on the east and south-facing windows, they congregate on the ceiling, and sometimes they fall into my soapdish on the edge of the bathtub. Oh, it's not a problem. We don't have an infestation. We don't have many. We just have ladybugs that seek warmth and shelter. I imagine that if we had a cat that they'd be gone quickly.
There are actually a few signs of spring here that are more pleasant than the ladybugs. My daffodills are several inches above ground although they won't be flowering for some time yet. My little kitchen garden, situated comfortably on the southern side of the house, continues to thrive; rosemary and parsley still grow, keeping company with one lovely head of leaf lettuce, a survivor not only of the cold but also of chickens scratching in the loose soil and scattering all the rest of the lettuce seeds.
Vic has been working on our pond. We discovered some algae awhile back. It's pretty early for that, and treatment is a little time-consuming. Did you know that there's a non-toxic dye that you can use to tint the water as it keeps algae from returning? It even comes in a choice of colors. We picked a lovely green. Vic poured five gallons of the stuff on the edge of the pond, waited a few hours, and lo and behold, our pond is no longer murky, muddy, yucky gray. Hooray! We're careful with that pond. It's one of my favorite features of this farm, and we, like our resident great blue heron, enjoy the fishing. Now that the water level is back to normal, our turtles have resumed their sun bathing on the rocks and limbs. We'll most likely have to re-stock the pond when spring comes. We aren't sure how many of the fish survived the lack of water this summer, and we know that the heron has a good appetite.
I will keep these spring thoughts on mornings when I have to break the ice on the chickens' watering stations. Tomorrow will be one of those times; there's a real cold spell here, a little wintry mix expected, but temperatures will return to the sixties in a few days.