Spring At Last!

The weather has finally started to turn! After one of the nastiest Aprils I can remember with almost perpetual clouds, cold, rain, mist and snow, it looks like we’ve turned the corner.

Daytime temps have been up in the mid to high 50s, even pushing a bit over 60. And we’ve had bright, sunny days. MrsGF and I have been spending a lot of time outside cleaning up after winter and things are starting to shape up nicely. The daffodils are all up and it’s delightful to see those bright yellow flowers out there.

We’ve even planted some stuff already, although that’s a bit chancey this time of year. We have a lot of onions out this year. One whole raised bed is all onions and some garlic this year.

And this…

That’s lettuce. Yes, lettuce. MrsGF said what the heck and put in a bit of lettuce just to see what would happen. I thought the ground was still too cold for the seeds to sprout but damn, look at that up there. Lettuce growing. In Wisconsin. In the first week of May. Outside. Sheesh…

Rhubarb is well on its way as well. It’s always the first thing to pop up out of the ground.

The irises are all up as well and looking beautiful. They’re early risers as well, so to speak. They’re about 8 inches or more tall already and looking very good.

Thanks to the old ash and maple trees back there we’ve had to clean up a lot of branches and twigs. Most of them went down to the town compost site where they’re chipped and turned into mulch but some of them went to feed the stainless steel fire thingie we picked up early last year. That thing was one of the best investments we made. It wasn’t cheap but it’s well made out of thick stainless steel. Beats the heck out of something like a firepit or one of those cheap sheet metal ones you get at the big box stores that rusts through within a year or two. Because of the clever venting system it has there is little or no smoke, and fires are fully contained so the chance of starting the grass on fire is virtually zero even in dry conditions.

Hopefully our big ash tree and the neighbor’s maple will be coming down soon. The two of them are definitely at the end of their lives. Large amounts of bark are coming off the maple along with branches and there is significant rot up in the ash tree where some of the main branches come together.

With the trees coming down soon I had to take down my OCFD wire antenna, and discovered significant damage on it where it must have been rubbing against something. Sigh… Always something. Fortunatley I found that before it got bad enough for the wire to break completely. I’ll have to fix that before it can go back up again. Grr…

So I only have the vertical antenna in operation right now and that has some issues as well, it seems. I’ve noticed that the SWR is fluctuating a bit. The meter indicates it’s fluctuating from about 1.12 to 1.16 during transmissions. I’m not sure if that is being caused by the antenna itself or feed line, or if it’s something in the meter on my Palstar antenna tuner. If I look at the SWR meter built into my transceiver I don’t see any fluctuations at all, but then that is a tiny, tiny flutter in the first place and that meter might not “see” it. I might be worrying over nothing but it still makes me a bit concerned.

The improvement in the weather means I can get out on the bicycle again. I love biking but not when the temperatures are down in the 40s. For the last few days I’ve been getting out every day for a half hour or 45 minutes to try to build up my endurance after a long winter of basically not doing much of anything as far as exercise goes.

That’s it for now. Time to get back out into the gardens!

Addendum – just got stung by a wasp. Damn that hurts! Wonder what I did to make him mad at me?

Author: grouchyfarmer

Yes, I'm a former farmer. Sort of. I'm also an amateur radio operator, amateur astronomer, gardener, maker of furniture, photographer.

4 thoughts on “Spring At Last!”

  1. Encouraging to see your results! Here in Oregon, we’re STILL experiencing rain, rain, and more rain. (Yes, the state is noted for this, but it’s not been living up to its reputation for the last few years.) According to the weather prognosticators, we won’t be seeing much sunshine for at least another 10 days of so. –Sigh–

    Sorry about the wasp sting. Painful!!


    1. Spring will come, eventually. Right now it looks like starting this week we’re going to see temperatures jumping up into the high 70s and even into the 80s with high humidity, stuff we usually don’t see until much later in the season.

      We aren’t going to start putting out things like peppers and tomatoes for at least another week yet. it’s still too early for that. Too much danger of a frost.

      Dear lord that sting hurt! I haven’t gotten stung in, well, I don’t remember, really, not since I was five or six years old. Forgot how much it hurts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Spring is always so hopeful. I love the feeling of possibilities it brings. I just planted lettuce too. Only in a pot on the balcony. Fingers crossed that it works out. I also planted peas, but everyone says I planted too late. 😕


    1. Spring is an amazing time of year, isn’t it? Every time I go outside I see something new springing up out of the ground, birds singing everywhere, frogs singing in the evening, it’s amazing.

      My youngest son grows things on his balcony as well. He’s had pretty good luck with herbs, pepper plants and a few other things. Not everything is a success of course but when you live in an apartment you do whatever you can.

      For us up here it would be too early to put peas in. We generally wait until after Memorial day to plant a lot of stuff because there’s still a danger of frost up here until mid to late May.


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