New Beginnings…

Perhaps it is because I grew up in South Florida where there was only a very subtle change of seasons each year…

Amphibious South Florida children! Can you guess which one is me?

Perhaps it is because I have witnessed first-hand the miracle of life with the birth of my three daughters…

My angels are not this little anymore...

Perhaps it is because after learning to balance three children, 3000 animals, and a recovery from a chronic illness, I take nothing for granted and revel in the beauty that each day brings…

My brave crocuses are first sign of spring, but the tulips and grass follow quickly behind...

Perhaps it is because I spend 365 days out of the year outside working in the weather that the changing seasons bring…

Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring---they rely on me every day to offer good care...

Perhaps it is because we celebrated the Easter holiday last weekend…

With every season that passes, their ever-growing maturity and compassion makes me feel renewed...

Perhaps all of the above reasons play a role in my belief that spring is a time of new beginnings.

Dandy enjoys a sunny spring afternoon (as well as the new green grass to eat!)...

Since I relocated to central Nebraska, it has always seemed to me that the new-year really begins as the spring winds bring warmer temperatures and the grass greens up.  Although the calendar states that we start a new year January 1st, Mother Nature brings in the true new-year about the 1stof April.  Each year, I never realize how much I missed the sound of the birds singing until the silence of winter gives way to the life of spring. One morning the silent air is filled with the joyous calls of birds.  It is like an epiphany for me as I realize how much I missed the chatter of those beautiful little creatures over the course of the cold winter months.

Mr. Robin Redbreast sings in our newly blossomed apple tree...

Just as the grass begins to turn green and the birds begin to sing, my husband gets the itch to start farming.  The rural Nebraska countryside is filled with tractors preparing the land for spring planting.  We started planting new alfalfa this week and corn planting is just around the corner.

Preparing a field to be planted...

In fact, it will not be long before Matt begins harvesting the older fields of alfalfa.  Alfalfa is a perennial plant which comes back out of dormancy year after year as the temperatures warm and the birds sing.  Almost 2/3rds of our crop ground is planted to alfalfa, and Matt hopes to get 4 cuttings during the growing cycle of April to the end of October.  A good alfalfa field will prosper for 6-8 years before it gets tired and must be rotated to another crop.  My favorite color is green, and I truly love the beauty of a vibrantly growing alfalfa field.

This gorgeous plant brings the color of life to the countryside as it grows, and will also ensure life to animals as it makes a wonderful source of feed...What a wonderful new beginning!

As you read this post, I am in Washington DC spreading the good word about agriculture and beef…Look for future posts on the topic of “Feed Yard Foodie Visits Capitol Hill!”

7 Comments

Filed under Farming, General

7 responses to “New Beginnings…

  1. Stephanie Rush

    Enjoy your “vacation” Anne!!

  2. Hold on to your pocketbook!

  3. Nebraska Farm Wife

    Have a safe trip back to Nebraska

  4. Mary Laura

    Hey, Cousin Anne! I’ve been enjoying your blog. I can’t necessarily agree with everything on it, but I love the insight into your day-to-day life, your take on things, and all the family photos. I’m glad you are visiting my adopted hometown, Washington, D.C. I know you are busy with convention/lobbying efforts. Next time you come to town, please let us entertain you! We can give you respite from the big city in a tree-shaded, azalea filled back yard (our steaks won’t equal yours, but Jim has a fantastic barbecue rub). In the meantime, I just want to say that “Hold on to your pocketbook” is prudent advice anywhere, but I hope you don’t feel it is more necessary here in Washington than Nebraska. I’ve been here since 1979, and can say it is a very friendly city. As an Urban Studies Major doing research for papers, I walked all over the city at all hours of the day and night without any problems. I was sensible about where I wandered, but I always felt safer in DC than I did in West Palm Beach, because crime seems to be more ubiquitous in West Palm and only concentrated in certain areas in Washington. If you aren’t selling crack on someone else’s turf (nowhere near where you are visiting), crime is pretty unlikely except from a common sense standpoint (don’t wave money around :-), unless maybe you are lobbying 🙂 ). All cities (and towns) have sections that aren’t as nice as others, but you are pretty safe in Washington. Cities also have a remarkable energy and caring people. Senator Warren Magnuson sarcastically said Washington has all the charm of the North and all the efficiency of the South, making fun both our homelands, but seriously, it is a great “small town” city of welcoming people, and I hope you enjoy your stay. One thing I can pass on from many years of convention management, is don’t wear your convention badge on the street, no matter what city you are in. It makes you look like an out-of-towner to be taken advantage of. Please enjoy your stay in our lovely city. I am sorry you are here too late for our marvelous cherry blossoms, but our weather seems to be cooperating for you anyway (except for our shared lack of rain). Love you to you, Matt and your fantastic girls.

    Mary Laura

    • Mary Laura! How wonderful to hear from you. I thought of you Thursday afternoon as I walked through part of George Washington University’s campus. I was fortunate to have a couple of hours to walk around, and headed from the Capitol to the Washington Monument to the White House and then on to the campus. I really love all of the old buildings in Washington DC—there is such history and strength in all of them. I also agree with your sentiment that Washington DC is a safe area to enjoy. It is both a clean and safe city and I enjoy visiting (which is unique b/c I really do not generally enjoy being in a city anymore!)

      I would love to get together the next time that I head this way. I tend to come about once per year and hope to have the girls with me next time. I am heading off to the airport now to fly back home, but please keep in touch–it really is great to hear from you.

      Thanks so much for reading and leaving me a comment. All the best to you, your mom, and Ted!

      Anne

      • Mary Laura

        I’m so glad you had the chance to walk around. That’s the best way to see things in Washington, and you took a good route. When your Dad visited when I was in college, we walked after dinner in the same campus area, and then down to the Vietnam Memorial (lit up at night). The campus has changed A LOT since I was there. GW has basically taken over the neighborhood, and lots of the older buildings are gone, but I don’t really object to the new vibrant campus they have created. The interesting thing about attending GW was that even in the days when I was there with the older buildings, it felt like a defined campus community island in the middle of all the rest of the exciting city. You are right about the older buildings in Washington. One of the things I have always liked about this city is that even in the absolute poorest, high crime areas, the old row houses are still sturdy, with lovely old architecture. They ARE strong. They have stood up to time, even as the world changed around them. I like to see people reclaiming these old neighborhoods and bringing back life to the houses that someone once took great care to build. I’m glad we are in touch. Hope you had a safe trip back, and it would be a fun time to have your girls here on the next visit. Send me an e-mail address so we don’t fill up your blog space! 🙂

  5. Mary Laura

    P.S. Growing up in Connecticut cold with an Easterish birthday, I feel EXACTLY the same way you do about spring! My Mom used to pay a nickel to the first one to spot a crocus!

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