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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 7, 2015 8:27 AM CST
So the rain barrels get used indoors? How do you refill them once they're in the basement? Very interesting.
I think it got down to around 40 in my yard last night. It's supposed to be colder tonight. I did notice light frost on the roof across the street but it's not tucked under trees. Still have annual flowers out there but it won't be long before they're gone.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 7, 2015 3:37 PM CST
We don't refill them during the winter, it's just to use what we have. We take them back out sometime in March or April.

We used to live in town where water was about one cent per ten gallons. I still can barely swallow the thought of three cents a gallon. Because of unwise choices our water company made, they've been increasing our rates every few months. I sure wish we had a gray water system, but we make do with saving hand washing and dish rinsing water, also the water from the shower. Those are mostly used for toilet flushing.

It dropped below freezing overnight as there was a slight icing of the bird bath. It means its Great Horned Owl courting season. Mr. Owl woke me up last night with his hooting. I didn't hear a female call back like she sometimes does.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 8, 2015 9:22 AM CST
Wow - getting filled rain barrels down to the basement sounds challenging. I once saw a gray water hookup for a washing machine done on This Old House. Are you on a well?
We have a local owl - I think it's a barred owl based on its call. Do their calls change with the season? It used to be the "who cooks for you" call but now it's down to 5 notes, if it's the same owl.
No icing here yet. Will be another day of leaf shredding/collecting.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 11, 2015 11:28 AM CST
Tornado watch until 6pm today. That's just wrong... tummy tense situations do not occur in November. Confused Blinking
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 11, 2015 7:16 PM CST
We survived the storm and got an all of 1/4 inch of rain. We lost power earlier, but no more than a couple of hours. And we saw a beautiful double rainbow. The weather radio tells the portion of the county where a tornado is, so we can rest easier when we hear is it on the other side of the county heading away from us. The wind is blowing fiercely now, predictions say up to 60 mph gusts.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 13, 2015 9:33 AM CST
Kim - glad to hear you survived that nasty weather! I had heard that 8 or 9 tornadoes had touched down in IA. Freaky weather!
Still windy here but gradually lessening. DH and I had cleaned up leaves last weekend and then the yard got covered again early in the week. Lucky (for me) most of the leaves have now been blown elsewhere. Most of the leaves are now off the trees with the help of the wind. We didn't get a lot of rain but some is better than none. Vegged all day with DD (down from MI) yesterday - catching up on Dr. Who and cooking Vietnamese/Thai food for dinner. Lots of lemongrass, limes and ginger sure brightened up a chilly, windy day.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 13, 2015 10:10 AM CST
Thanks you... I found only one branch that was blown off a tree. The winds/rain did in my Bee Blossom that was still blooming Wednesday morning. We got another 1/4 inch of precipitation from the wet snow that fell in the evening. That was a weather day to remember!

I tried looking for birds this morning and maybe gather a few seeds, but the cold brought me in.

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 13, 2015 12:14 PM CST
I didn't venture out yesterday except to go to the grocery store for a few things. I chose not to do anything outdoors yesterday due to the chilly, damp wind. The most I've done outdoors today is fill the thistle and suet feeders. The goldfinches, juncos and woodpeckers were waiting on me and I took pity on them since it's supposed to get below freezing today. My annuals have slowly bit the dust for the season over the past few days. Mums are still kinda hanging in there and my very late roses are wind-tattered. Will have to go through the garden next week and do some chop and drop cleanup - more so this year as I'm getting used to the method and the forecast for a drier than normal winter.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 14, 2015 11:04 AM CST
Even though it's nice this weekend, I'm stuck indoors painting the bathroom - ugh.
I did notice a group of robins. We do get a few that hang around over the winter which I'm not used to. It is strange to see them in a group, sticking to the trees rather than looking for worms on the ground. They seem to be clumsier in the trees around the bird feeder.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 14, 2015 1:26 PM CST
New bird to the suet feeder - a pileated woodpecker. It's huge! I'm used to the downy and red-bellied woodpeckers. Used to have red-headed woodpeckers but haven't seen them for a couple of years.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 16, 2015 2:51 PM CST
Chilly and cloudy. We had some drizzle earlier. A nice day to stay inside.

Yay! for you Cindy. We've had all species Iowa's woodpeckers in our yard except that one. That is an amazing bird!
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 17, 2015 8:43 AM CST
I had never seen the pileated woodpecker before it showed up at the suet feeder. The size of the bird and that red crest sure demand attention. Haven't seen it since but supposedly they are reticent birds. My indigo bunting was rather scarce this year as well - think I only saw it once in the spring - maybe just stopping over at the bird feeder.
Gloomy day here but we're supposed to get a string of below-freezing nighttime temps starting tomorrow. Might even see a stray snowflake. I need to get out to the garden to do some minor cleanup but have been waiting for plants to go totally dormant first. Have been side-lined with painting the main bathroom over the gorgeous weekend we had. Bummer.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 17, 2015 9:43 AM CST
What a weekend to decide to paint. Today is a good day for that, except likely not a good one for the windows open for ventilation.

Windy and rainy here, with a cloud of blackles. Likely not a good day, no Meadowlark singing. Sad I did see the Harris's Sparrows in the feeding area. That's my favorite migrating sparrow. I need to look at my bird journal, I think they've been here almost a month. They are always gone by December.

Here's a picture of a Harris's. I think they are such cute birds with their quirky personality. They are too curious and get into trouble. They are one of the largest North American sparrows and weighed just enough to shut a live trap we had out and was too big to get through a hole in the cage. When we used to keep the van outside, someone bumped a door button and a Harris's got in there and couldn't figure how to get out. I had to open the trunk, which it flew right out of.
Thumb of 2015-11-17/Chillybean/ad85cb

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 17, 2015 12:29 PM CST
That sparrow is a cutie. I've never just sat and recorded the birds in my yard. Always rushing to get garden chores done. One of my favorites is what I think is a swamp wren. I only have one pair and they seem to want to build nests everywhere and then never use the nests. Hanging baskets are their favorite spots. I did have to refill the feeders today as the various woodpeckers are devouring the suet and we get so many goldfinches that there's never enough room at two feeders for them all. I think the finches just sort of hang out around the feeders all day, wanting to be close to their winter food source.
I wouldn't have wasted a beautiful weekend painting except that DH mainly uses that bathroom and he was out of town so it was a great opportunity. If I would have opened the window, I probably would not have stuck to my task, wanting to be outdoors. It was low-VOC paint and I had the exhaust fan running.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 19, 2015 10:19 AM CST
Wrens are notorious for multiple nests. There's different thoughts: One is the male builds in several locations to impress the female. If she likes a chosen spot, she takes apart his nest and starts over. Others say, the male wren builds a bunch to hinder other birds from nesting to decrease competition for food.

We remove the house wren's dummy nests. The males also go around pecking holes in eggs and killing new young, so we do not encourage them by leaving all the dummy nests. It's not too many.

Meadowlark sings! I haven't heard him in a few days. He called over some Rusty Blackbirds and Kessie (the female Kestrel), so that makes a great day! Other than that we have sun (a delight to see) and strong westerly winds. I was briefly in the prairie patch, but no birds. Or they were hunkered down and silent. I pulled out some weed grass and put that in the feeding area. The little birds will eat right from the stalks.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 19, 2015 10:57 AM CST
Sunny here today with the wind in process of changing. Supposed to be in the 'teens at night over the weekend with maybe some snow. I did fiddle a little more with the insulation in the little GH and put up some reflective emergency blankets to help bounce the diminishing sunlight around a little more. I do need to get the light bulb setup into the tall cold frame today - it will come on when the temps fall below 20. The birds at the feeders were a little scarce the past couple of days with the strong wind and a small hawk (maybe Cooper's) has been patrolling as well. The red tail hawks don't hunt as much at ground level because of all of the shrubs and trees although I have seen them go after a bird straight into my holly bushes. Guess it depends on how hungry they are.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 19, 2015 11:02 AM CST
Thankfully, the Red-tails around here leave the little birds alone. They tend to go for rodents, rabbits, squirrels. Same with Kessie, but she just eats small rodents. The Cooper's, Sharp-shinned Hawks and Merlins do prey on the birds, but haven't seen them in awhile.

Sounds like you did a bit of work with your greenhouse. We talked about making a mudroom/greenhouse combination, but not sure if that will be done. I am just thrilled my husband is willing to build a root cellar in the basement then we can store root veggies and apples properly. I need to have a cooler place for canned goods too.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 19, 2015 1:54 PM CST
Nice re: root cellar! And the mudroom/greenhouse would be great. Good idea. I grew up with a "cold room" under the concrete front porch. Here, I'm in a tri-level with no real basement since the lowest level is finished space. I have a crawl space, not easily accessible, and use that for storing paint and holiday decorations. We have an attached garage where DH installed a natural gas heater and that's our main work space, especially during the winter. Attached to the garage is my little heated GH. I can walk from the house through the garage into the GH in the winter which is really nice. I do have some re-purposed kitchen cabinets down in the laundry area where I can store some canned goods (mainly tomatoes) but not a lot. My main long-term storage is a freezer in the garage.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Nov 21, 2015 1:07 PM CST
Woke up to snow this morning and it's still snowing. It's wet snow and is currently at about 3 - 4". Seems barely cold enough for it to keep going. I do hope it sticks over the next couple of nights when that cold front comes through. I was hoping to get the large faded flower heads off of the hydrangeas before the snow but have been tied up with other things. One bright spot to the unofficial start of winter - my blue sky vine that I brought indoors has a few flowers on it but the plant unfortunately will go downhill from here due to the reduced sunlight.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Nov 25, 2015 5:29 PM CST
It was cloudy today, but the temp was nice getting into the 50s. We were planning on visiting my husband's family tomorrow, but predicted ice changed that. I just hope the turkey thaws fast enough to cook tomorrow! We may try to go out and look for birds, not much is being reported though.

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