Monday, February 16, 2015

This Cold Is For The Birds!

This is it, friends.
The coldest cold has arrived.
Never before during my time here on the farm has it been this cold.
Early this morning, as I do the morning chores,  we are to have -30F 
(which is -34C) windchill temperatures.
The days activities will include...feed, feed, feed, break the ice in the heated water buckets and refill with warm water....repeat....repeat....repeat....and so on until the day is done.

It's a great day to watch the birds on the feeders (which have to be refilled twice daily)
from the window of our warm log cabin...
a fire roaring inside.
The feeders are a frenzy of goldfinches with their drab winter attire...

with cardinals....Mr.....

and Mrs.....



dark-eyed juncos, 

white throated sparrows,

at least a hundred of these finches...

and many others flitting from bush to tree to ground to feeder to bush.
It seems that everyone needs extra fuel to burn to keep warm in this brutal weather!

It's also a great day to reminisce about some of the crazy birds
who have added to the personality of the farm over the years...

Who could forget our dearly departed Edith, 

who kept Tom and Chuck on their toes,
and who had a habit of making a nest in the first fairy garden...
(and why not?)
luckily it was early and Spring and the garden had not yet been planted!

There was Babbs, who would come to my feet and stand there waiting to be picked up...

And Amelia Earhart who had a bad habit of flying the coop...
a bad habit that caused her demise
to be by the talon of an owl.

There was handsome Elvis, who would croon so sweetly every morning as I did the chores...

Dear sweet Ivanka, the Transylvanian Naked Necked chicken
(modelling the latest in neck-warmers)...

who lived the last year of her life in the barn,
sleeping each night nestled up to Moll (one of the barn kitties)

Rod Stewart...

 who bore a striking resemblance to his namesake...

Most unforgettable was Hank, 

the attack rooster.
Believe me, we tried everything to keep this rooster from attacking...
 resorting to carrying a SuperSoaker around with us at chore time,
so that we could use water to keep him away!

Sadly, Hank eventually met his demise at the end of a lethal injection.
(I am always opposed to the killing of animals, however Hank attacked anyone who happened to 
walk across the barnyard...usually drawing blood.  With children around, we cannot have an attack rooster.)

Birds add a lot to our life on the farm.
And like humans, they each have their own personality.

PS:  I've had a few questions about the deer and our garden. 
We have an 8 foot deer fence around the perimeter of our big garden...
so we have never had problems with deer nibbling in the garden.
I also have a smaller fence around the pumpkin patch...and luckily, no deer have been in there either.
I think the presence of the farm animals helps to keep the deer in the woods
and off the main property.


  1. So many wonderful bird pix! I hope the frigid temps pass quickly so that you can enjoy your daily chores a bit more. I hope you'll share this outdoor post on Tuesday's Maple Hill Hop.

  2. I just have to share a tidbit about keeping deer out of a fenced in area. My garden fence is only about three feet high, and the deer had only to step over it to help themselves to my produce. Then I read somewhere that a single strand of wire will confound and perplex them. I added the single strand at the top of my fence posts, wrapping it around each one, then to the next and so on. Bringing the total height to maybe four feet. I have not had one single deer enter my garden in the years since! The theory is that they cannot "see" the strand well enough to tell exactly where it is, and won't jump over it! My garden is three hundred feet from my house in the middle of a huge field and we have no neighbors in sight. There are untold numbers of deer browsing out there at all times of the day and night. And no deer have gone into that garden! I hope this helps some other gardeners!

  3. What wonderful "friends" you have, and have had, over the years. It was wonderful reading about them and their personalities. I know you hated to put Hank down but we had an attack rooster when I was a kid and I have the scar on my back to prove it. He met an early demise, too.
    Have a wonderful week- I hope it warms up there. xo Diana

  4. Brrrr....Bev same here in Ontario. The horses have been inside for days. Only outside while we clean the stalls. This gives them time for a roll in the snow and a short romp around the fields. The wind chill is just to much for our older horses even with blankets. ?For the first time ever the barn is "cold" 22 degrees. So we are like you with the water situation. I love your pictures. So many wonderful memories our farm friends leave us when it is time for them to go. It is such a heart break but we are so lucky to have had them in our lives. Each and every one of ours never really leave us either..thanks for sharing your special memories about your friends. Keep warm..hope this cold snap ends soon. Much prefer snow not this bitter cold.

  5. They all become so much part of the family don't they ? You get the same type of birds as we do here and because of the cold I have been topping up the feeders every day for the poor little things .I feel like I live in the Arctic this year it is -34C feeling like -40 C the coldest we have had in years. Lovely photos thanks for sharing , Hope you all stay cozy and have a good day !

  6. Nice walk down memory lane. I remember all those birds. Rod Stewart was a favorite. Horrible Hank who could forget him? Great pictures today. Yes we need to keep everybody fed and watered.... And warm... At least the wind seems to have died down. Keep toasty!

  7. So many fine feathered friends to spend your days with. ☺ Hopefully this frigid weather will take the hint and leave quickly. I think ALL of us (animals included) are ready for sunny days and warmth to return.....sooner rather than later! LOL

  8. Wow, you have so many wild birds around your farm. They are so colorful...beautiful. Sorry about the cold, that is awful and so much more work for you.

  9. Thank you for posting the celsius as well Bev! Brrr, that's cold. We've had some warmer temps here in Saskatchewan, so we must've sent you our cold temps. Sorry about that! I love seeing the pics of your birds. Wild and domestic, I've always loved birds. I have ended up with about 80 chickens and ducks and ordering more for spring!

  10. This it the 3rd time I've tried to send so hope it goes through only once. Love today's post as I have been wondering if you fed the wild I know! We have just about the same birds as you. Have had oodles of siskins this winter. The feeders empty fast. Keep warm and think about spring around the corner.

  11. An American in TokyoFebruary 16, 2015 at 7:42 PM

    Wow, you sure have a lot of interesting birds around your farm!!
    And the pet ones (except maybe the attack rooster) all are so interesting!!

    I have a pet finch and he has quite a personality as well!
    He only bites me when he is in a bad mood, but I am glad he is only a little finch! Ouch!

    Glad to hear the deer don't get inside to your yummy veggies! ;)

  12. Oh Bev, what beautiful birds!
    And I just love Ivanka's neck warmer and must not forget the bird that looks like Rod Stewart! How funny was that.. Stay warm, talk about COLD! burrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


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