By Lisa Hayes-Minney

The recent sunshine recharged the solar lights in the yard, but I don’t know if it was enough to last them through the days of upcoming rain predicted. Daffodils have sprouted around the mailboxes, and crocus are blooming.

Folks are starting seeds indoors to get a jump on the growing season, and I have prepared my plant and seed order for the year. I’m planning to expand the asparagus bed, and am hoping to start a walking onion patch. And of course, tomatoes. There are far too many empty jars in the pantry. I’ve seen Mr. Holiday once, swirling above the farm. The newness of the eagle has worn off, and I didn’t pause to see if he landed anywhere close. I’ve heard the peeper frogs on three of the warmer, wet evenings, and at least one turtle has already migrated back to the lake for the summer.

Flocks of robins collect in the fields. Trapping season has ended, and one trapper in our area will be tanning hides from 13 coyotes, 2 bobcats, 2 red foxes, 2 beavers, 37 raccoons, 3 muskrats, 6 possums, and 1 otter. Not bad for such a muddy season. On my recent commute, I’ve noticed that drivers have taken out 2 deer, 3 raccoons, and 4 possums between Stumptown and Glenville in the last week. I try to take Daisy (beagle) and Dandelion (tabby cat) on walks when the sun shines, and so far I have found one ootheca, a praying mantis egg sack. I purchased some online several years ago when I learned that praying mantis eat stink bugs. Now, when I find the ootheca in the wild, I relocate them to the garden area.

I typically find four or five in the spring, and I may order more this year. I prefer praying mantis over stink bugs any day, and we have noticed a drop in the stink bug population. We thought one of our abandoned beehives was empty, but during a sunny walk one day I spied honey bees moving in, their legs plump and yellow with pollen. I can’t imagine where they are finding pollen right now. I have read that spring allergy season is predicted to be especially brutal this year--perhaps this is a sign of such. Normantown Historical Community Center has some great upcoming classes and events! Most classes are held in the brick building close to the school—no stairs! NHCC will be having their second Rag Rug Class on March 7, at 10 a.m.

You will need a size Q or a large crochet hook and some material cut or torn in two-inch strips. A Freezer Meal Class will be held on March 14 at 10 a.m. Learn to make freezer meals that you can easily thaw and serve on busy days! The class fees are by donation.

NHCC is planning a Spring Vendor Event on Saturday, March 28 at 9 a.m. Crafters and vendors are invited. They ask that each participant has a small item to give away for a drawing. Tables are $15.00 each. RSVP by March 26 to 681-495-5960 or 304-462-7042.

The Food Pantry is held on the 2nd Friday of each month, this month on March 13. NHCC Clothes Closet is held Wednesdays, 11-2 p.m. Donations to NHCC can be made online at, or mailed to NHCC, 3031 Hackers Creek Road, Jane Lew 26378, c/o Margaret.

I see the Mini-Library at Fred’s Store is still stocked with all kinds of books. Please feel free to help yourself to those, or to swap or donate books.

If you have any 25267 news you would like to share with community readers, send an email to, or leave a message on our machine at 304-354-9132. I also have a seasonal email newsletter that includes links to this column online. You can subscribe at

- Lisa Hayes-Minney is an author, teacher, librarian, and publisher. For more information about her workshops, services, and books visit To sign up for Lisa's free seasonal newsletter, visit