Watching the snow pack melt is sort of like watching the tide recede–in slow motion. It is tempting to grit your teeth, clench your hands and mutter “C’mon, already!” but since that really doesn’t get you anywhere, here are some things to do instead. Some of them I’ve already done, some of them I’ve done other years, and some are things I know are a good idea, but just never seem to get around to them.
1) Watch the birds pig out.
2) Stomp a path through the snow.
The snow was two feet deep, over the top of my boots. Snowshoes would have been just the ticket. Instead, I put on my snowpants as well as my boots, and started stamping out a path, so I would no longer sink down to my knees with every step. It got me out of the house on (relatively) mild days and in a gardening frame of mind. You can also use snow to try out the shape of new garden beds.
3) Watch the chickens scratch.
The first spot to melt is over the septic tank. The second spot is over the leach field. The Chicken Maiden stomped a path from the coop to the leach field just so the chickens had some place to go. They were feeling…cooped up.
4) Sharpen your tools.
The only tool I ever sharpen is my hand pruners. Okay, if I know I’m about to split a daylily, I’ll sharpen the spade. But that means finding the file, which easily adds a half hour to the project. You can do better. Watch this video. Speedy Sharp gave me one of their sharpeners and it really did a good job. Now where did I put that thing?
5) Clean your desk.
You know you’re not going to touch it for months once the snow has melted. This is what I keep telling myself. This is what I have been telling myself since the first snow fell. And yet…my desk still has several layers of papers covering its surface. In my defense they are not the same papers that were covering it when winter started, but I have yet to achieve desk nirvana. And no, I’m not going to show you.
6) Observe the turkeys in your backyard.
They were attracted to the same patch of soggy lawn that the chickens scratched in. But they are a lot more skittish than chickens. The sound of the back door knob being turned as quietly as possible was enough to spook them.
7) Tidy up the garden shed.
Haven’t tidied it this year, yet. Have to wait for the frost to get out of the ground, because right now the soil has heaved and the door can’t be raised. But I did it last year and in 2012.
8) Figure out where to set up your new weather station.
Yes! The folks at AcuRite have sent me a weather station that will enable me to have a personal weather station on Weather Underground. I can hardly wait! But first I have to set up the sensor so that it’s 30 feet away from any overhead obstruction (including tree branches) and no more than 330 feet from the mother ship (indoor sensor). And the solar panel has to face south. Soon the ground will thaw sufficiently to actually drive a mounting pole into the ground, so I need to figure this out soon.
9) Take pictures of where the snow melts first.
I know I’ve said this before. Several times. But you need to remember where you need to see flowers when it’s time to plant the bulbs. And if you’ve already planted bulbs there, keep looking! I found some new places where the snow melts first. What should I plant? More crocuses? Or maybe Siberian squills?
10) Clean up your seed-starting corner.
Yes, you should already have done this, because it’s past time to start the earliest seeds, and it will be time to start the tomatoes before you know it. I was so proud of myself when I got this done, and rather astonished at the number of pots I’ve accumulated. It doesn’t seem like so many when they’re tossed here and there.
Okay, that’s my ten. What are you doing (or did) while waiting for the snow to melt, while waiting for mud season to officially begin? (Besides rolling of eyes and gnashing of teeth.)