(post by Jason) There is an old saying that you need to wait till the oak leaves are as big as a mouse’s ear before you plant your corn to avoid the risk of a late spring frost. I honestly don’t know when that happened here in Middle Tennessee since everything happened so fast this spring. However I can tell you with some certainty that as of today the white oaks in our yard are in full leaf and the leaves are the size of my hand or bigger. I can also tell you that the last time this happened this early was in April 2007. During the first week of April that year we had three mornings in a row with a hard frost and my six inch tall sweet corn got frozen back to the ground, oak leaves be damned.

This year spring seems to be stuck on fast forward. We’ve had plenty of moisture and we’ve been at or over 80 degrees consistently since early March. I can’t believe how much the grass is growing in our pastures and hay fields. Even the warm season grasses greened up in mid March and have begun to actively grow. Some of the cool season grasses are only a few days away from heading out. Many of our local dairy farmers are putting up their first crop of haylage (chopped wilted green grass) right now. If the weather stays stuck on warm and wet we may well be putting up dry hay before the end of the month which is at least two weeks ahead of normal and fully three weeks ahead of last year.

While a few horses have already finished, most of them are somewhere in the process of shedding winter coats. Earlier today Melissa and I had a discussion on what colour horse hair showed up the worst and persisted longest on clothing and bare (sweaty) skin. We both agreed that grey hair hung on the longest. With more warm weather in the forecast it looks like we won’t be going far without our shedding blades for awhile yet !______________________

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Gus and George grooming

Calimba

Rampal hanging out and resting his head on Johnny

Maisie

Hemi, Baby, Apollo, Moe

Hemi, Baby, Apollo and Moe

Thor, Walden, Fabrizzio, Lucky

Thor, Walden, Fabrizzio, Lucky