The Beast Emerges

The Beast and her minions survived the winter.



Despite the state of suspended animation that the fish were in all winter, somehow they managed to double in size! I will have to find homes for some of them.

Meanwhile, although patches of snow remain, the sun came out and I have begun the springtime yard cleanup. I raked and deadheaded the perennial herb bed. Those brown leaves on the ground? Frozen solid. I’ll have to do another quick raking in a week or so.



Yesterday, I cleaned up around the raspberries and lopped off old canes. Luckily, the bushes are on the right side of the fence. Three feet of snow remains piled up on the left, a reminder of the snow plow that we saw so frequently this past winter.



There’s so much to do! The butterfly garden needs attention.

flower bed


The Gems have offered their assistance and have been loosening packed down leaves and destroying all lurking larvae.

hens help


Yesterday I was in a store looking at gardening tools and noticed the seed display. There was a two for one sale! Despite the fact that I have not yet taken stock of the seeds leftover from last year, I couldn’t help myself. I bought 18 packets. Even those of us who are frugal and careful shoppers suffer lapses and go on seed buying sprees this time of year. Kale will be sowed today.

Spring is here.


  1. Thank you for the spring preview! Everything looks promising on Little Pond Farm. Not so here…….yet. Is that your sons’ tree house out in the back? How fun.

  2. Nice! We are getting a little rain today so no gardening for me. I planted kale seeds on New Years Day and we are having lots of kale salad. Reminds me that I need to pck up some more rice vinegar.

  3. So glad you blogged about the beast! We’ve been worried about him during this long snowy winter :) Glad to see them all swimming about!

  4. wish it was spring here , I bought parsley and black-eyed susan vine seeds and we have 3 feet of snow still…HaHa

  5. I saw some of my fish at the top of my pond yesterday. They were reminding me I need to go them food.

  6. Still 2 feet of snow here in Vermont where I live. Tomorrow we are expected to have an ice storm. I looked at seed packets the other day and just didn’t have the heart to buy any. If only wishing for good weather made it so!

  7. My butterfly garden up by the road has thawed and I’m pulling weeds n weeds. Last year was not a good gardening year for me. And the back where I -used- to have a veggie garden? I’ll be starting from scratch. After it thaws! :)

    I always have lapses. I have seed catalogs that start arriving in DECEMBER! One year my daughter and I decided to total our wish list. If we could have everything we had highlighted, how much would it cost us? $2,800.00 dollars! Obviously we have neither the money nor the land required. But, oh, there is so much good stuff out there!

  8. Great time at hencam – two goats sparring.
    Had smaller fish pond at other town residence – n’ they wintered over too. Tough scoopin’ out leaves for spring with young ones. Ever any trouble with hawks fishin’, hawks n’ hens? I know some keep neutered roosters for protection. You?

    Good cookbook. Love recipes n’ stories. Eggs from neighbor. Deep yellow and delight. You’re right about basic scrambled. Low n’ slow. Just like my sis-in-law from a farm in Retford UK. Best scrambled.

  9. It was 80* here yesterday it was to hot for now. Woke up this morning to rain…….but the Dogwood buds had all opened on all our trees. Before long they will be in full bloom. Yes Spring is here in the Great Smoky Mountains, wildflowers blooming everywhere. Don’t worry it is on its way to you all.

  10. This very morning I was wondering if The Beast made it through the tough winter; you must have read my mind! Just got through sending off an order to Gurney’s to replenish my rosemary and lavender which were demolished by our long cold winter. The rosemary had been growing on a sunny slope in my front yard for over 25 years, and the woody plant stems were as big as my wrist! I particularly hated to loose those old friends. Ah well, at least we can say goodbye to winter and start scratching around in the dirt.

    • In my zone, rosemary is an annual. I’ve never had success bringing it indoors to overwinter. I can only imagine how lovely your sunny slope smelled over the years.

  11. Hi Terry,
    Your place is already looking great. Isn’t it crazy how we do the seasonal things year by year. The pond looks picture perfect. I sent my burpee order off today. Doc said we had to get the bok choy in because it should have already been put out. I’m ok with it, tastes like collards, maybe a little more bitter. Doc wants it because it’s pretty in the garden and it’s the hens favorite vegetable treat. After seeing your asparagus last year, we had to plant some. It’s not come up yet, but we’re hopeful. Is yours up yet? Maybe we didn’t do something right. Can’t wait for the recipes that you do in the warm weather. Happy Spring to Little Pond residents! and Tonka too!

    • It takes a couple of years to get asparagus established. Also, the ground will look bare and then all of a sudden you’ll see the spears emerge. It’s a crop that requires patience :)

  12. Glad Spring is finally sprung! It looks like you’re making a “play place” for the Literary Girls….reminds teeter-totters, swings and climbing structures when the kids were little…oh, & the dog loved them too. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Interesting!
      I remember reading, long ago, that there was a possibility of Chinese sailors having ended up in Peru, based on something unusual that Chinese & Peruvian chickens have in common. (Must have been those blue eggs!)
      Funny how the theory was so logical, and only genetic analysis would have proven it wrong.

      • They’re now doing genetic testing on the chickens that would have come with the explorers, and at this point the theory has been proven wrong.

    • This has been misinterpreted in headlines. It’s all about a mutation long ago, not a current virus. People read the headlines and miss the real (and interesting!) story.

  13. Ah, it looks so refreshing to me! I can imagine how clean and crisp the air is. Good to see the Beast is doing well!

  14. I hope Lily is guarding the pond. Our neighbors’ dog has already had to chase away a heron from their fish pond. Their pond also has big tadpoles, salamander eggs and a wood frog egg mass. Interesting pond it’s turned out to be. There is also a resident bullfrog with a deep voice.

    And we are hearing peepers now every evening from the swamp out back. Much warmer here on the coast than where you are, I think.

  15. Terry, has the Blue Heron ever returned? A question about the “Minions,” are they offspring of the Beast or do you have breeding pair of goldfish in with the Beast?

    • I’m sure it will. And I’m sure that Lily will send it off again. The minions are offspring of some 99 cent goldfish, and they’ve interbred with the Beast (who is female.) Koi are closely related to your basic goldfish and they do breed.

  16. Terry glad to see that the Beast has made it through another winter. Whoever you bought those feeder goldfish from they seem to be strong fish. I was also wondering about any of the Beast’s hybrid offspring and if any have made it a larger size as well ?

  17. So glad the beast survived another harsh winter. I had the same situation with too many ‘minions’ in my pond a few years back. I called the local, privately owned pet/feed/grain store who also carry fish, pond plants and other such supplies in the spring. They were delighted to take many of those healthy little fishes off my hands; and even gave me a store credit. They sold them out quickly to go live in other happy little ponds. Win-win.

  18. First of all I wanted to thank you, I was at your “chicken talk” at Agway a few weeks ago, and I really learned a lot! My “babies” will be arriving April23rd! I wanted to comment on your pond. Are those babies? I have had a fish pond for years and have never had babies. Just started reading your blog and watching your cams I am very jealous. Thanks for the entertainment – Sharon

    • Goldfish/koi breed like, well like rabbits. If you’re not seeing little ones, then something is eating the eggs and or babies, because if you have a half-dozen fish, they’re sure to be mating. Also, do you feed your fish? During the warm months ours get koi food.

  19. Thanks for the reply Terry, yes I feed them during the warm months. Maybe they are all male or all female:) Who knows! Your hen cams have become an obsession in my house since I was at your chicken class. I just got a phone call from my father saying he was driving behind you. He recongnized you by your license plate! We really are not stalkers, just fans!!