Our 8 bee hives are filling with honey, a mixture of pollen/nectar gathered from the apple orchard, viburnum , and wildflowers.
Adult rabbits are running thoughout the forest and their babies are hiding in our Cotoneaster brambles
We have an active fox den on the property, midway up the drumlin in the deepest part of our forest, in well drained soil, about 100 feet from our upper wetland. My guess is that it was an old groundhog den, since the first three feet of the main entrance were recently enlarged and dug into a tall oval shape which enables the fox to bolt out at a full gallop. Every night when I run our Great Pyrenees they want to leave the Woodland Path (Unity Farm has 4 paths - Woodland, Orchard, Marsh, and the Old Cart path) to explore the den. The alluring scent of fox urine is irresistible . The one downside to having an active fox den on the property is that one of our Guinea fowl disappeared on Tuesday night. I believe she was laying an egg in the forest (Guineas are terrible parents) and that she was grabbed by a fox before she could fly away. I found a broken egg, a path of feathers and no Guinea. All the Guineas come home to roost at dusk, but on Tuesday night, only 17 of our 18 returned.
The Unity woodland is covered with ferns of all kinds - cinnamon, hay scented, and sensitive ferns. I used my scythe to recut the trails through the sea of green underbrush. I've also had the seasonal joy of removing poison ivy from the trails by pulling it out at the roots.
The new alpaca had their first vet visit this week and we've updated their rabies and CDT (clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus) vaccinations. We checked their ears, eyes, and teeth. All were perfect. Since they lived with goats and we are quarantining them for a month away from the other alpaca, we checked them for parasitic infections by gathering fecal samples. Sometimes people wonder how I've learned farming skills. How do you master alpaca rectal exams? Just do it!
The most amusing part of the vet visit was checking each new alpaca for the RFID chip implants that are used to positively identify them if a fence is breached and they wander off. The vet scanned Tahoe, our young male gelding alpaca and could not find his chip. Just to check the equipment, the vet successfully scanned me, since she had read about my experience as one of the first humans to have implanted RFID identity and medical records technology .
The weekend ahead will be filled with mushroom log inoculation, adding woodchips to trails, and clearing some of the fallen poplar on the Old Cart Path. There's nothing like a Spring weekend of farm chores to refresh the body, mind and soul.