Relative indicators: cold, colder, coldest!

Saying this winter is cold is an understatement.  We may not be in the negative digits as those to the north of us are suffering, yet I believe it is all relative.  Let me explain that statement.

The serious bits…

We are all facing a propane shortage.  Because of this shortage, the Governor of our state has declared a state of emergency.  This will protect us from price gouging.  Cold below freezing will hurt you, and if you can’t keep your house heated, then sadly, it doesn’t matter how many degrees below freezing you are, below freezing is going to hurt you.  I had no idea about the propane shortage when I called to have our tank filled yesterday, and I am grateful that it is full now, because we don’t have a fireplace here.  Normally we get through the winter with only one fill up.  This was our second!

We in the eastern portion of the nation, and this does include the deep south, are facing unseasonably cold winter weather!  Homes built in the south are not accustomed to prolonged freezing temperatures.  We are near the Tennessee border and our walls are pretty thin.  The further down towards the gulf you go, the thinner and less insulated your home will be.  When it gets this cold you might as well be living in a cracker box!  This also means higher energy costs. Few living in the south have a home that was built to be protected from frozen pipe damage or insulated well enough for sustained freezing temperatures.

For all the water we have here in the form of rivers, lakes streams and reservoirs, it may seem quite odd that there were some localities that experienced a water shortage.  This was due to all the households running their taps at night to keep their pipes from freezing.  No one wants to waste water,  yet in weather like this, it has to be done.

Then there are the animals that are affected.  I’m not so worried about my own, because I have provided them with a heat source, unfrozen water, and warm, protected shelter.

On realizing that we were headed into the deep freeze, with possible windchill factors below zero, we put up a wind break for the poultry.  It works really well for the chickens, but for the most part, the geese seem to ignore it and wander about the yard looking for anything that is still edible (not freeze-dried  😉 ).  Well, I suppose they do have a layer of fat and all that down to keep them warm.

P1068404-2“What!  You gave the chickens a heater? Where’s our heater?”

Ever wonder where the wild things go to find food and water?  Well, apparently here in N. Alabama,  they are getting it from my chickens and geese!

On keeping a sense of humor…

Now it must be said that even in all this cold, there is still some fun to be had!  Remember the property across the way with the derelict house on it?  Well, now that it is cleared, and a proper berm tractored into place, we have a smallish catch basin.   (It is kind of a swamp really, but the frogs will think its grand in the summer.)  For now, it is frozen over and the neighbor kids have begun using it as an ad hoc skating rink!

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Did you ever wonder:  “How do the little squirrels stay warm?”

They move FAST!

This squirrel has a scratch feed addiction!  😉

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No matter where we are in this cold season, and whatever the circumstances we face, we have to be aware, be safe, help others in need, try to stay warm, and if possible, to keep our sense of humor intact.

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Sending blessings out to all who are suffering in this weird weather!  

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Fall: mountain farmlet style

Tired of working every time we go up to the mountain we decided to go up on Saturday and just enjoy the afternoon.

Bob packed the chainsaw, and I made fun of him for taking it along…

“We had that storm you know, and there are always a few downed trees on the trail!” he said.

You will have noticed the barbed wire in front of Miss Kitty?  As it turns out there was more of that barbed wire hidden in the leaves all along the edge of the creek.  How do I know this?

Let’s just say I’m glad my Carharts are made tough!  They saved me some serious damage!  Only a little scratch, and yes, I have had my tetanus shot in recent history!

We stayed until it was dark to look at the stars and then headed out to have dinner.  It was a lovely visit!

Fall arrives on the suburban farmlet

I went out looking for fall color and I finally found it.

Autumn has arrived in North Alabama!

 

PS:  After Thursday night’s terrible wind storm I expected to get up Friday morning and find Fall on the ground!  How delightful that Mother Nature saved a bit of it for us after all!

The Mystery is Solved!

Since buying the property I have been seeing large floaters in the water.  Some are over two feet long!  I had been told that they were snapping turtles, but I could never see them. Trying to get closer only caused the shadowy shapes to dive down deeper.

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Do you see those scary dark spots in the water?  Do you think they are snapping turtles?

Sunday afternoon I tried a different tactic.  I walked very slowly, and cautiously to the pond.  I stopped and waited several times for the shadows to resurface and then put my tripod up in the shade.  Being in the shade masked me, but the awesome part was when the slanty light finally revealed the mystery.

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I went hunting,

What did I see?

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I saw a big Catfish

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Looking at me!

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So happy there are no snapping turtles to bite the feet of my geese!