Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Racing the Temps

It is 40 degrees out as I type this, but we reached 60 degrees today. 

I think that is the highest we are going to see for at least a week! 
As Keith says, the calendar doesn't say it, but winter is about to descend on us. 

There won't be much sittin' and visitin' on the patio. 

Or swimmin' in the "pond", or the "duck pool" after today. 
The deep fortex is going to have to suffice, and I'll have to fill it by bucket several times a day. 
I made the duck's bed of soft prairie hay even deeper and more protected today, since they are not using Fort Apache. 

Thank heavens Chatterbox the Ameracauna has regrown all of her feathers since she molted, she'll need them. 
We are predicted to have single digit nights for at least the next six nights, though it looks like our county will dodge the bullet on snow. 

We made hay while the sun shown... or, Keith got me four more bales of brome.  It does not look as good as the hay we got at the feed store before, so I am a little disappointed.  See how "strawy" the top bale in the cart looks?  I got it out of the truck and over to the haybarn and stacked so we are good to go. 
Nancy Thellman, if you see this... I am going to be calling you and buying some brome from you... yours was TOPS! 

We did get one bale of straw today... to wit: 

Half went into the old henhouse, and half into the henspa.  Two of the roosters jumped down and set right to work in it... I hope it will keep them all busy as the temps fall tomorrow. 
This old henhouse has only one outlet working now, and I have a heat lamp on Butch's side (where the feed cans are...) and the old hen Mary is using it. 

 Once before, I had a hen displaying the same symptoms as Mary... 
see how she is trying to bend from her neck down, instead of flexing and pecking?  That hen died overnight one night.  I always wished I had the gumption to cut her open to see what was wrong with her.  I thought Mary was just getting VERY old, but she does not seem right now, and I may have to have Keith put her down. 

I am also worried because I never found anyone to put a new door on this henhouse, and there is a two inch gap where it no longer meets the jamb.  We are going to single digits, and I fear what could  happen to these birds. 

Here is how she looks most of the time now, standing under the light.  I think her time is just about up. 

Look!  Up in the sky!

We are seeing more and more geese moving now

Okay, do.not.laugh. 

No, you can laugh. 

This pitiful thing.  

Chris and I found two trees in the storage shed.  This tree is so tall, it touched the ceiling of our little house.  You see it is QUITE large.  It was also extremely rickety.  
It was taken apart and put back in it's bins, and it will actually be going to the transfer station after Christmas, because it is too rickety to donate.  After we laughed about it, we realized it was the tree that stood in the living room of our Victorian house we rented in Leavenworth the year Keith retired from the Army.  We had a beautiful living room and parlor there, and this tree had to be tied to stay upright. 

As you can see, one small tree replaced it, but the Big Reveal will come tomorrow. 
The Pile o' Christmas is much reduced, and Keith has been so kind as to put the empty bins back out in the shed, except for the six or so still in the house.  I am racing expected drizzle to get them back to the shed and my tractor unhitched and put away before it starts. 
We did have one happy, happy find today that I will also share with you tomorrow.  It made my day. 

Now, I'll end with two remarkable pictures from the game cam. 

No, these pictures are not remarkable because of the ducks modeling for you. 

Do you see Lilly Ann, Protector of Us All? 

She is on the pasture side of the fence, my friends.  She was shut into the pasture this morning by a person whose mind was obviously NOT on her duties. 

She was in there over an hour, when I went looking for her. 

She did not kill ONE bird. 

She actually walked in front of the camera several times, trying to get out the closer walk gate to the left of the camera.  Then she laid down and calmly watched the ducks eating. 
They equally as calmly ignored her. 

She is my BEST girl.  

I also surmise from this that all the birds killed in the yard were BECAUSE they were in her yard. 

The camera is back out in the pasture tonight... we'll see what we find in the morning.  I wonder how all the wildings will be faring in the intense cold.  At least they won't have deep snow to contend with. 

Tomorrow... the Christmas Reveal!  


  1. Great job on the Christmas decor. We are still trying to get
    there. darn work gets in the way!

    M :)

  2. We love coming to your bloggy and reading a story about all the happy animals! We hope a gate fixer comes sometime soon to fix your gate. I know your hoping it too.
    You have the happiest animals-- and riight now we feel sad for Mary- cause she does not feel good.

  3. can't wait to see what you reveal! it is very warm here and the cold is on it's way and we are supposed to get snow! hope your animals will all be okay!

  4. If you have a heat lamp in the coop you are worried about, they should huddle near it if they are cold. If it's a very large coop, perhaps an extension cord from the outlet to another spot. Red flood lights work well as another source of mild heat in a coop too.

    I have a blonde ameraucana just like yours!

  5. Those first two photos are so cute! Just melted my heart. And your tree is a hoot!

    It's always discouraging to lose animals like that. I've had several chickens go downhill like that and then die. It's frustrating that some things can't be fixed. :(

    But please do drop by my blog and see what I'm excited about. And consider entering my book giveaway! (Just in time for Christmas)

  6. Time is flying by so fast. Glad you got started with the decorating there. I'm done except for a few things outside. How sweet those last two pictures were and the protector did his job well...no harm done. Hope everyone keeps warm and cozy.

  7. Starting to look a lot like Christmas! It's 60 here in CA and people are complaining it's an Arctic front, BOL.

  8. Oh, dear.. seems like Winter is here to stay.
    Guess it had to happen, sooner or later.
    We started getting snow last night, and it's still flurrying around outside. It's also very, very cold.
    I'm glad that you were able to get a bit more hay and get a few things done around the farm, before the cold snap hits.

    Warm wishes..

  9. It is foggy and cold here this morning, poor dad had to drive home late last night in it at 25 mph. We can hardly wait for the unveil of the tree, that is one huge tree, mean ole cat dietzy would just crawl up it and sit high on that branch.
    stella rose

  10. Is a transfer station the same as a dump? Go ahead and donate it, rickety or not.....somebody will want it. You should see some of the things people walk out of the thrift store with that I go to.

    Redneck that gap. Nail a board to the inside frame of the door or something to close it up.

    Sounds like you have your winter weather plan in place. I hate ice and snow.

  11. Good girl, Lilly Ann! Be careful, Mary Ann. Even with no snow those low temps sound horrible to me. I hope all of the farm animals come through okay. It is like summer here today so R.H. was outside trying to do a little more winterizing. I doubt he'll want to be outside working for a while now, with our weather predicted to be wet and cold.

  12. So much to be done with cold approaching!! I loved your first photo the best ... goat on the patio table!!


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