1 This is what the farm looked like on March 1, 2013. Things still look cold and bleak.
2 With all of the rain we've been receiving, most of the heavy snowfall has melted. This is the courtyard outside my kitchen door and that is the giant cast-iron fire bowl, which is used for winter bonfires.
3 A view looking down towards the stable
4 The witch-hazel shrubs have been blooming most of the winter. Witch-hazel is a medicinal plant and extracts from its bark and leaves are used in lotions for treating bruises and insect bites and other soothing lotions for the skin.
5 Looking through the yellow witch-hazel, my eye is drawn to the orange color in the background.
6 The orange are the branches of the allee of linden trees, which are becoming more vibrant as spring approaches.
7 These neat rows are the herbaceous peony beds. A herbaceous plant is one that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level.
8 Looking closely, one can see that the peony plants are already beginning to emerge from the soil.
9 The long daffodil border extends a good distance along the Maple Avenue side of the farm. This bed, like all the gardens, was top-dressed with a thick layer of composted mulch to protect the tender shoots of the daffodils.
10 Like the peonies, the daffodils are beginning to emerge, getting ready to put on their fantastic spring show.
11 The ice on the in-ground birdbath is beginning to melt. The curious miniature Sicilian donkeys turn to see who's watching.
12 I wonder what this year's apple harvest will be like? Weather and flower pollination are critical factors for any crop.
13 The fuzzy buds of magnolias are swelling up with the beautiful flowers inside.
14 Looking back toward my house
15 Lichens grow upon the paddock fencing. A lichen is not a single organism, but the result of a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an alga.
16 Similar to the mycorrhizal partnership between truffles and the roots of certain trees, the lichen fungus provides protection to its partner and gains nutrients in return. They're really quite amazing structures.
17 And speaking of donkeys - What is Clive doing lying on the ground?
18 Clive is white no longer.
19 Nothing like a good roll in the mud!
20 Are you proud of yourself, darling?
21 The buds of an American chestnut tree
22 Meindert staring lazily from his stall
23 The allee of linden - You can see the orange branches quite clearly.
24 This is the bottom part of the long daffodil border with daffodil shoots and a red blooming witch-hazel.
25 Witch-hazel flowers may look delicate with their twisty, ribbon-like petals, but they're actually quite durable, lasting a few weeks or more.
26 Orange witch-hazel
27 The petals on this yellow variety have a feathery appearance.
28 Looking across the paddocks towards the equipment barn
29 Budding dogwood
30 Another view towards my house and the stable - I'm sure that the Friesans are looking forward to when the paddocks grow lush and green again.
31 This is a cutting garden situated next to the chicken coops. My gardener, Ryan McCallister and I are planning to dig up all of the flower bulbs and plant the vegetable garden here. The present vegetable garden will become a flower garden instead.
32 One of the hayfields
33 A white-tailed deer on the neighbor's property. My farm is completely surrounded with deer fencing
34 This herd was made up of at least 12 deer.
35 The carriage road through the back woods
36 The often photographed moss-covered rock - You can tell from the rich, emerald color of the moss that it's been a very moist winter.
37 A stately white ash - The wood of white ash is really tough and it doesn't break under large amounts of strain - think baseball bats! The gray bark is characterized by having deep, narrow ridges that form a diamond shaped pattern.
38 This is the curling bark of a birch tree, most likely a yellow birch.
39 And this is most likely a pin cherry tree.
40 All through the woods are clusters of Christmas ferns, so named because the fronds stay green all year long. They were flattened by the snow, but new growth will be upright.
41 I assure you, spring is coming!
42 The still present beech leaves give a pleasant rustle in the breeze.
43 The yellow of the weeping willows looks spring-like.
44 The little pond is still quite frozen.
45 The enormous pile of broken trees - thank you Hurricane Sandy - continues to grow larger.
46 A handsome sycamore tree
47 All of the brooks that run through the farm are flowing and gurgling loudly.
48 This one has a meandering path.
49 Looking through the woods towards the equipment barn, the hoop house, and the vegetable greenhouse
50 Another look at that handsome sycamore
51 These are the spathes of the eastern skunk cabbage that grows alongside the brooks. When the leaves emerge, this low growing plant has a foul smelling odor.
52 The boxwood allee and the stable beyond
53 Another view towards my home
54 Looping around to what has been the vegetable garden. I'm moving it because this area has devastating mole crickets and I'm thinking that a pool and formal gardens would work better here.