SPRING!

I think we have all been punished enough this April for the mild winter. I know I have. Our road washed out and I knocked the exhaust off my car getting through the clay and mud our road agent brought in to replace the gravel that was once our road but is now in the woods at the bottom of the hill.

Normally we would be hearing spring peepers by now. Spring peepers are the little frogs that start to sing to the lady frogs when the soil temp hits 40 degrees. It also means the ice is out on our small pond.

Its not a big pond but my fish are always glad to see me each year. I am the guy who throws Purina Fish Chow to them. It is amazing to see some of the same fish swim up to the bank to look right at you year after year.

In late summer, after tadpoles have turned to frogs, I toss some ground meat to the fish. They all go nuts! The frogs know everyone is getting a free meal but frogs don't take well to commercial feed or ground meat. If you throw some worms in top of lily pads they will climb up and get them. But for the most part they just swim aimlessly over to where the fish are churning up the water. If I had big fish the frogs would stay on the bank or in the weeds.

In a few weeks we will let the sheep out on fresh grass. Even though they are mostly older ewes now they jump straight up in the air and kick their feet. Some square off and head butt each other, they are so excited.

All winter the sheep are indoors behind bars like prisoners who get fed twice a day. They love getting out and seem to forget they will be getting sheared soon. Sheep don't like new people walking into the barn. It makes them edgy. But when they hear the electric shears you can sense the panic. There is only one thing that scares them more than being sheared:

Mocha, The Wonder Dog.

I don't know how we got this particular dog but she has developed a few interesting tricks. Her number one passion is to go out at night with her own fancy 90 degree flashlight in her mouth, the one with the special duct tape cover, and chase the sheep into their sheep building so the coyotes don't get them.

Mocha The Wonder Dog dives right through the three rail fence in the dark, flashlight in mouth, and becomes a bouncing streak of light all over the field. Next, you hear sheep bleating and the rumble of them diving into their building out in the field.

Now comes the hard part.

If you are not right next to the building to pull the sliding door closed after the sheep tumble in Mocha The Wonder Dog becomes Mocha The Bad Dog and goes in the building herself to chase the sheep out - so she can chase them back in again.

Mocha also likes to chase balls. At 11 years old she chases balls like she is doing it to get on the Dog Olympic team. Tennis balls are what we use now but we used to buy soccer balls for her to shred before her teeth got a tad too dull.

So in a few weeks Mocha will go from diving in the snow for tennis balls to diving trough the fence to round up sheep. Then as summer rolls on it will be chasing crows, Mocha hates crows, to diving in the pond to chase frogs.

I'm about sick of snow and mud so green grass will be a welcome sight.