Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fast moving water all over.

"Tis nothing but a sprout, but well budded out . . ."
Always a line that stuck with me from Alfred Noyes poem a May Day Carol. Of course, it's not May yet, or close to it. The pear tree doesn't seem to know that though. We will see if that works out to good or ill. It also reminds me it's time to learn how to prune fruit trees since we had one survive the winter. Though it's always worth remembering, winter isn't over.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Turkey fuzz, and air flow.

There are a few things going on around the house as our weather vacillates wildly between warm and bitter cold. The biggest upside of this is that the driveway is relatively clear, and the shoveling I did completely paid off. There's still plenty of ice of course, and lots of snow still on the ground, but as you can see there are areas of ground peeking through.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ice and balance.

Well, we successfully got down the driveway this morning, but it was something of an adventure. We've officially discovered the limitation of YakTrax, and have recommendations on more robust replacements for them. On a slope of this grade, with hard black ice at low temperatures, the YakTrax aren't even gripping. You're just relying on your balance, and limiting contact with the ice. The areas I shoveled all the way down are actually the most dangerous now, but they will be the first to melt, so I did make the right choice at least, but there will be a lot of salt. This brings up one of the things I've thought about many times since starting to homestead.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Unpredictable weather extremes.

Shoveling snow while rain is pouring down, and the snow sublimates due to the temperature is one of the more surreal experiences I've had recently. Especially after multiple days of below zer temperatures.

Unfortunately with the snowblower out of commission, and out for repair right now it was a purely shovel job. With a few inches of snow, almost an inch of ice, and rain it was heavy work. This is definitely an example of me not injury managing well enough, because I actually wasn't able to complete shoveling the whole driveway.  As you can see on the Right since I figured out I wasn't going to be able to do the whole thing, I shoveled down as far as I could to the snow/ice mix that wasn't going to move. I got tire tracks, and then did a ladder pattern with a "cross bar" every 10 - 15 feet or so. I figured that gets things down as the melt happens. Now, the ladder pattern is sheets of black ice, and the parts in between are thick sheets of heavy ice with a bit of crunch to it. Wintery mix after serious snow is one of the worst types of weather in the world, but it can be pretty.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bracing for cold amid snow.

It's continued snowing on and off for the past few days. The kid and the dog love it, the rest of us, not so thrilled. The up side about the snow is that if it's snowing it's not bitter cold. That's going to be changing shortly. We're expecting temperatures to drop into single digits over the weekend. Fortunately we're going to be home, but I'm concerned about the animals that are outside with highs in the singles, and lows in the negative double digits.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mother Nature reminds us it is winter for some time still.

So one of the problems with talking about how mild the winter has been in late January is, there's a lot of winter yet. She heard us, and has delivered the missing winter. We'll see how long it stays, but She seems to be aimed to drop enough snow for us to remember right quick. On the up side, the Critter still loves every moment of snow.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Poultry petting as the grass shows.

Yes, this is a picture from this week. In fact, it's even less winter like today than it was when these photos were taken by the Lady of the House. Of course, there is prediction that there will be snow tomorrow, and Tuesday so we'll see how that actually goes. If we actually get snow that'll be fine, if not I expect the last of the snow on the front slope garden beds to be gone entirely by next week. Either way the poultry are enjoying the green, and chances to make their way around and eat anything they can find.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Spring thinking, and sick critter

Most of what we've been focused on over the past week or so has been inside the house more than outside, and we'll get to that in a moment below the cut. Right now though we're watching the rapidly melting snow covering the last areas of the growing areas, and thinking about the strangeness of the weather. We have predicted snow in 7 days, but instead of waiting for Memorial day for anything the way we normally would, we are considering planting early plants such as radishes, lettuce, mustard greens, and cold hearty beans. Given that the weather has been so strange all winter, and we have a bit of a glut of a few varieties of seeds it seems like a situation we can either get something good, or just have to re plant later.