It's been a relatively mild winter so far, thank goodness. I just went out to dump the compost pail, and the sun is shining, the temperature is in the 30s, and it's pretty darn nice out there. I went into the greenhouse and it was about 50° and the low had been about 24° over the past month or so. I had forgotten to water the stuff in the pumphouse since before Christmas, but they didn't look like they're dead, just thirsty. Must make a note to self to get out there once a week or so to give them a little drink. I should probably start setting mouse traps again too - we caught one in the house this week, the first one since October or so. It didn't smell mousy in either the pumphouse or the greenhouse.
I can barely keep up with feeding the birds! We've just got flocks and flocks of them. I'm going through bird feed like crazy and decided I'd rather buy it in 25 lb bags that I can keep in the house instead of trekking out to fill up my pitchers every day. It brings a smile to my face to hear them all chattering and singing when I go outside. They certainly are messy however - the porches could really use a big clean up on the next nice day.
We had a pretty good snow earlier in the week that brought us up to over a foot, but it's smooshed down a bit now and we're back to about 9 or 10 inches. The days are getting longer, and it's noticeable! I think I'll try to get out and start cleaning up the greenhouse and get geared up for starting things. There are a couple packets of seed that need to be cold treated and now would be a good time to get on that. That sounds like more fun than cleaning up after birds!
11° this morning. I'm making coffee and I notice all 3 bird feeders are empty and the crabapple tree is full of birds with their hungry faces on. So I do what any ridiculous person would do, and go outside in my bathrobe and slippers to fill up the feeders. Brrr. Oopsy. I forgot that late last night when we were getting all those emergency broadcasts to our phones about 911 being down, that I got unsettled enough to lock the doors. Brrr. Luckily I was able to get the spare key out of its hidey-hole and get back in before I froze my woofy-doofy off. Greg was still sleeping and I didn't want to be like Fred Flintstone on the front porch yelling "Wiilmaa!"
We had a nice quiet Christmas and invited Larry and Sam over for barbecued prime rib. Yum! We had some more snow yesterday, but it didn't amount to very much. We've only got about 6 inches total so far. That's enough to keep things from freezing too bad, so it suits me fine. We've been feeding the birds like crazy - sometimes I have to fill the feeders twice a day! Mostly chickadees, gold finches, and house finches, with the juncos and quail ground-feeding. And the downy woodpecker, who seems to be taking suet out of the feeder and stuffing it in the cracks of the porch logs. Maybe it's more fun to dig it out of the logs? I'm hoping the clowns (grosbeaks) pay us a visit this winter; they're so amusing. I don't know if they like it over here as much as they used to, since so much of the pine habitat has burned up in the past few years. We've got a lot of quail this winter and they always put a smile on my face. They've taken to huddling up under the porch steps and they surprise me when they flush out as I walk out the front door. It gives Ruby something to chase for a second - she's going blind and I don't think she can see them, but she can certainly hear them. Today is bright, sunny, and a crisp 22° at 11 o'clock.
Well, we've got a few inches of snow now that looks like it doesn't plan on going anywhere. A few nights down in the teens so far, but mostly fairly mild temps. I miss being warm and wearing shorts again by now, but there is beauty in the snow and frost. Especially in the crystal, cold mornings with the ice on the riverbank and the steam rising off the water. I'd still rather be on the beach though...
We got our first snow on Thanksgiving day. It didn't amount to much - maybe an inch - and then we got a bit of rain later that night. By morning there was only a trace of snow, with the grass showing through. We've since gotten a bit more snow, a little more rain, and cold temps. It's crunchy out there. I had forgotten how the full moon really lights up the night with a snow cover on the ground and clear skies. It's been a couple years since we hung around for the snow for very long.