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.

One of the things that has been catching our attention lately is that the turkey has been developing head fluff. Not just the ruffled feathers on the back of the neck, but on the front of the head above the eye there's this fine white hair. I am not a turkey expert on all things obviously, but the fur on the head is something I haven't seen before. It isn't something I've heard of before, and brief research hasn't turned anything up, so I'm going to have to look more. If anyone has seen this before I'd be curious to hear about it. The Lady of the House was wondering if it had to do with the consistently low temperatures over the winter, and the turkey being outside all winter. It seems reasonable that after a cold winter outside, that one would grow at least something to protect that naked head. Reasonable, and real though are often two different things.
The Critter continues to help out with the chicken food, and in fact, sometimes the chickens get fed twice because he so wants to feed them. I'm glad it's fun for him, and the poultry doesn't mind a little extra food. They are a little wary of the attention, and as he starts moving faster we're going to have to work on not chasing the chickens around. We don't really want him catching chickens, and definitely don't want him catching the rooster which is his real focus lately.
With the snow that's still on the ground we're seeing some fun things. For one the snow fleas are still around and in the small patches you can see them. Just as fun, you can see the strangely shaped wandering trails Above. Those are the trails of meadow voles, which can do a lot of damage to planted, over wintering garden beds. They're not the brightest nor most perceptive creatures in the world, thus the randomly meandering trails going all over the place. It is kind of fun to see their tunnels wandering around in the snow, though it isn't a particularly good sign for the small plants that were under the snow over winter. My main concern given their location is the asparagus that I'm really looking forward to seeing in the spring.
With the temperatures we've been having recently we've been running the stove fairly consistently since we're now low on oil. In doing so we've had a couple learning experiences. The Lady of the House was doing some reading, and came up with a really interesting bit of knowledge. Our stove has consistently been smoky to start, and on bad days would flood smoke into the house before it heated up enough to draft. There's a lot of weight of air to change the direction of with heat, and because of that the smoke ends up coming in. I have to admit, this isn't a problem I've had with any other fire place or wood stove, I do know how to start a draft. I thought it was some problem with the stove, but it turns out, it's a quality of the house. With a well sealed house, which apparently ours is, you have to slightly open a window. It's been like magic. With the window slightly open for 60 seconds while I start the draft the fire doesn't belch smoke into the house forcing us to open multiple windows for a few minutes. It's amazing what little thing you learn that can make a huge difference in the long run. Benefits and challenges of a well sealed house, now that we know this, it's a totally reasonable trade off. As always, you just have to know. Critter wants to help, I'm a lot less unhappy about him helping when we have less smoke billowing into the house.

No comments:

Post a Comment