Spring Shows Up For a Few Days, the Tease

The yellow blooms of forsythia in the valley below us herald the coming of spring, but our mountain locations keeps it at bay.

The yellow blooms of forthysia herald the coming of spring

I came down off our mountain to go shopping and realized it was spring in the valley. The forsythia was blooming. Willow trees had ribbons of green along their branches. When I got to our village, a few ornamental cherry and pear trees in front of houses were blooming.

On the mountain, spring has not yet sprung. In the woods, there are hint of it; red along the tree tops from the maples and touches of green in the undergrowth as small bushes. It’s as if they want to get a jump on the sunshine started soaking it up before their broadleaf cousins could intercept it all, and there was sunshine aplenty. It made me wish for bees. This would be their first real chance to gather pollen and perhaps some nectar and to rebuild their colony after the long cold winter.

While temperatures in the low 60s are welcome, we cannot get carried away. We are not done with the cold weather yet, as it is more than six weeks until our average last frost date. Already the five day forecast shows night time temperatures dropping back into the 20s before the weekend. With my luck, we’ll have snow.

These warm, sunny days warm up the ground and help get it ready for seeds, but they can fool you. It’s too soon to plant most of your garden. But it is perfect weather for other outdoor work.

A Spring Shopping Spree

I mentioned yesterday that I bought eight sheets of T1-11 siding for the chicken coop. That wasn’t all. I also bought more 2x4s, more 2x6s, both 16d and 8d nails, screws, and some bolts. I still don’t have the materials required to do the roof.

This is going to be a better engineered chicken coop than I had originally expected. And I’m building it now, thinking it will cost even more in the future. As it stands, I will have to eat home-raised eggs every day for the next five years before this project pays for itself. But then again, this isn’t really about making money; it’s about being more independent and self-reliant.

Speaking of tools, I started taking the back seat out of my Chevy Colorado to give me more room for gear. There are just the two of us here and if we ever needed to fit more than two in a vehicle, we’ll take my wife’s. I say “started” because it turns out I need a T-50 torx bit to remove some of the screws. Shockingly, I didn’t have the bit or the socket in my tool box. I have up to a T-40, but nothing bigger. How annoying. The builder supply store I was at didn’t have a T-50, and neither did the Harbor Freight I stopped at. Now I will have to see if the automotive supply store has them.

I am considering renting a paint sprayer to paint the T1-11. My concern if I use a roller, as I did for the floor, is that the paint will not fill in the grove, or bead, of the siding. My thinking is to rent the sprayer one warm sunny day and paint all 8 boards with the primer. Then, after they dry overnight, I will paint them the next day with the paint. The challenge is to find somewhere to lean all 8 boards while I paint them.

In the News:

Here are updates and new information on stories we have recently covered in our posts:

  • More COVID Craziness: Scientists predict we will need different COVID vaccines by next year because of mutations in the virus. (Not because your government wants to keep you fearful and exert more control.)
  • A year ago, COVID-19 caused a toilet paper shortage. This year, there may be another because a company in Brazil can’t find enough containers to ship wood pulp to U.S. TP producers. (I can’t help but wonder why we ship wooden pellets to Europe for them to burn to produce electricity but then import wood pulp from Brazil to make toilet paper. Just doesn’t make much sense.) Everything I’ve read points to more trade difficulties because of a lack of containers, rising demand and, of course, rising prices. The blockage of the Suez Canal just exacerbated an already dicey situation. It pays to stock extra stuff, people.
  • Will Chinese missiles lead to World War Three or an uneasy peace? Will China seize Taiwan and put the U.S. in a difficult position? Just a few of the things that make you go “Hmm” in this article. It’s worth reading.

Author: The Pickled Prepper

Pete the Pickled Prepper lives on an isolated homestead on the side of a mountain deep in in rural America. He has been preparing for the end of the world for more than 25 years.