Sunday, February 22, 2015

Random Blog Thoughts...

Sometimes, when I don't really know what to write about, I grab my camera and take some pictures and go from there.

Today dawned in the positive temperatures. It has been below freezing for several weeks, and below zero more mornings than I care to remember. These temperatures make it hard on the livestock and hard on me when I care for the livestock. Most of all, it causes me to worry, and that is tiring. Seeing the thermometer on the deck register 27 degrees this morning made me do a happy little dance in the new snow. The animals were more upbeat and active too, and at one point the temperature rose to the mid 30's. It was a lovely reprieve, but cold air is moving back in soon. All the the ice cycles on the house dripped and dripped,(if you look to the right, you can SEE a drop caught in mid air!) and many of them came crashing down,shattering like glass with explosive sounds echoing over the silent snow.

The blue sky was a treat to see after many days of gray. The pathway to the studio is icy and those embankments are shoulder high. It is almost impossible to believe that the snow will ever go away; that grass and daffodils and tulips will take its place. I feel happy when I remember that Rachel and I tucked flower bulbs here and there in the fall. It will be such a treat to see things growing and blooming.

Something caught my eye as I was doing chores. Something amiss. This poor, hapless Morning Dove was caught in the feeder post. I gently lifted her out, and though her leg was chafed from the struggle it didn't appear to be broken. While I was carefully examining her she blew out of my grasp in a confetti of feathers, winging over the meadow and vanishing into a stand of pines.

The hens have not laid an egg since November. This afternoon while I was filling up their water bowl and feeder I spied this teeny, tiny egg off in the shavings. It must have slipped right out of a hen on the roost, so little she never noticed it!

Chris brought home a big bag of dried meal worms for the birds. We gave them today for a special treat. The hens were a bit suspicious of them at first, but then dove in and helped themselves to a welcome hi-protein treat. I put a few handfuls into the ducks water bowl. When I checked moments later, every worm had vanished.

The snow in the pasture is deep, deep. The four foot fence is merely a suggestion to the animals at this point. Luckily they are not interested in wading about in the stuff. They have made a small path from the shed to the gate, then to the water bucket. There they have milled about enough to make a small, flat area. I put hay there and it gets them out of the shed for a while. I should have helped them make more paths and open spaces, but I didn't. Next year I will do better.

When we first moved here I saw some foliage at the edge of the meadow move and heard what I thought was a wild turkey call.I was SO excited! I couldn't even see a turkey, but the thought of it being here made me giddy. I thought of that this week, when a flock of 20 very hungry turkeys began to come several times a day to gather the spilled seeds from the wild bird feeder, inches from the house. At first they were very wary, darting away across the yard, or lifting off in heavy flight if they saw me in the window. We bought corn for them, and scattered it on the snow, and a big block of compressed corn and seeds, and put it at the base of the bird feeder. By today they barely moved when I opened the door, and now they run towards me as I broadcast food for them from the little deck. Look how BIG their eyes are! That surprised me. They are willing models for my camera, and I can't get enough of taking their pictures.

And this last, random shot. Sister Deb gifted me with a nice, sturdy coat rack for the studio. It was a bit on the boring side, so I asked an artist friend to trade me some pet grooming in exchange for giving it a facelift. She painted it blue and created morning glory vines climbing up and blooming cheerily during this long winter.

And this closes today's desultory photos and blog thoughts. Photos of my surroundings often inspire me!

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