Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Early Garden Prep and a Wildlife Encounter!

We are in the midst of some unseasonably warm weather, so we're taking advantage of this opportunity to prepare some beds for asparagus, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. The soil in the area is really uneven - lots of high spots and low spots - plus it's not great soil. We decided that we would dig out the area where the plants will go, use the soil we're removing to fill in low spots, and then fill the holes with better soil/compost/manure/mulch.

It's a lot of work...on the other hand, it's a free workout! The soil is pretty hard and packed, though. We're wetting it a little, tilling it, then wetting it a little more. The next day after the water has soaked in, it's much easier to shovel out.

It's a decent size space. This first phase is about 6 feet wide and 25-30 feet long. We still have a lot of work to do. Once that area is done, there is a spot for blueberries that's about 6 by 20. I bet I'll have biceps before this is over!


We work on it every day, and we're seeing some progress.


This is a dry climate, and we've had a few dry years in a row, so some of the local animal species are really struggling. One example would be the Mud Puppy. Mud Puppies thrive in mud, but it's hard to find a good patch of mud around here. However, if you wet some tilled soil and wait a minute, there's a good chance that a Mud Puppy will appear.

I think I see one here!!


Like a lizard that can shed its tail, Mud Puppies often lose their boots.


You can see where this Mud Puppy lost her boots. One is behind her, and the other is near her left leg...mired in mud.


Once this happens, they are called Sock Footed Mud Puppies.


Sock Footed Mud Puppies say some funny things, like, "I think I'm about to ruin my socks."

Oh, I think that's already in the past, little Mud Puppy.

The nice thing about Mud Puppies, whether they are the booted type or the sock footed type, they are very happy creatures. Very, very happy. However, once they get cold, they need to be soaked in warm water for a few minutes. After a short soaking, they are clean, and once again, very, very happy.


We love our little Mud Puppy, and we suspect that she will appear any time water and dirt combine to form her habitat! :)


Toni Toni Toni said...

Wahhhhhhhhh, she's ADORABLE!

Karyn said...

OMW that is the cutest lil' mudpuppie I have ever seen! I heard the wildlife in your area is pretty wild indeed....I'll take one those varmints any day...great post!
Hugs Kiddo

stacey said...

yay! for mud puppies! i am so jealous of your 70 degree weather, it was 5 degrees yesterday morning when i left for work!

Anonymous said...

Very cute mud puppy you have there.

Bella said...

Your mud puppy is by far one of the cutest ~ ever! Congratulations on all of your hard word on tilling the land so early! You will definitely reap a huge crop, I just feel it! :)

cfosterart said...

I wish I could find one of those wild mud puppies. I don't think they are indigenous to my area. You are so lucky to have her even if she was a sock footed one.

Seriously, looks like you are doing a great job with the land you have. I can't wait to hear what type of goodies you end up getting from it!

tenthingsfarm said...

Thank you for indulging me in this post of cuteness! And yes, it's some work moving the dirt! :)

I'm pretty sure there are Mud Puppies all over the planet. If you saw the movie Field of Dreams, it's like that - If you build it (a mud puddle) they will come! ;)

Luscious Lime said...

Oh...you have the most adorable mud puppy ever!!! :-)

homesteph said...

Oh my, what a marvelous Mudpuppy sighting! Aperfect example of the kind I should say! I'm so glad you took pictures to share.

This remids me of a rare wildlife sighting in our area near a river park. DH and I kept hearing the high-pitched song of a bird we didn't recognize. After a little investigating, we saw her - a Pink-Frocked Cutie-Pie in her winter plumage!!


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