The First Indication That Winter May Not Last Forever

As you can see, we are still in the midst of winter- both in temperatures and snowfall.  We have more snow coming today and later in the week, so this is how our world is going to look for the time being. 

It's been a tough winter for solar energy.  As you can see, most of the panels are still covered with snow; and it looks like that's not going to change any time soon.

The pond has shrunk quite a bit.  An icy shelf has grown around the perimeter.  Even with the smaller area, we still have 50 ducks that spend their days happily swimming here.  The ducks that are here are a combination of our domesticated ducks and a rather large flock of mallards. 

We have also noticed a lone American Black Duck for the past few weeks.  You can see him on the ice to the right in this photo.  I am not sure if he has a mate here, though, as the females look quite similar to mallard females.

Though the farm is tucked beneath a mid-winter blanket of snow, 

there has been a subtle change in the past few days.

The days are no longer silent, as the sound of birdsong is returning.

  Perhaps it's the lengthening day.  Perhaps it's preparation for mating season.  

Whatever it is, the birds are once again singing and it's a wondrous sound!

We've been opening the gate to the front pasture so that the horses and donkeys can get some daily exercise.

Guess who refuses to venture out?  You got it.  These two donkey divas refuse to walk through snow.  It might be partly my fault, as I have always shoveled paths for them.  But I have noticed, that if I don't shovel paths, they don't leave their house.

It looks as though I'll be back shoveling more paths by the end of this coming week.  I am guessing we'll all be pretty happy when it eventually melts.  It won't be just the birds singing when that day comes!

Today is Pantry Makeover Day... and I am so excited.  Yesterday, the pantry looked like this:

As you are reading this, the entire contents of my kitchen pantry are on the dining room table.  
I can hardly believe that all of this fit in that pantry.  I am also wondering how I am going to get it all back in again.  One thing is certain... it's going to be very organized!

  I'll share the "before", "during", and "after" later this week.

Some of you were interested in the silicone cupcake liners, and had a few questions.  This is what I have learned from my first time using them.  The cupcakes don't stick...yay!  As for cleaning them, I use a brush to clean them.  Little crumbs of cake do stick in the indentations... but a dish brush works perfectly.  

Muffin tins are unnecessary... you simply place the silicone liners on a cookie sheet,  fill them with batter, and bake them.  I am thinking of sending my muffin tins to the thrift store - one less thing to store in the kitchen.  (Personally, I don't like using most muffin tins because of the non-stick coating that most have.)  The silicone cupcake liners stack inside each other and take up barely any storage space.  


Marcia LaRue said…
It has been about a week of extremely cold, snowy days [and nights] here in S. CO ... today it's looking to warm up to a toasty 23 degs., with lots of sunshine ... hopefully the sun will melt the snow on the vehicles and some of the icy patches on the roads!
Definitely looking forward to the warmer weather that is taking its time to get here!
Looking forward to seeing your finished and restocked pantry!
Love all the animal photos each day and whatever information you send out here for us to read and see!! And it's not cold here--on mid east coast of Florida--come for a visit!!
I have a question/concern on the silicone cup cake holders--or any silicone backing wares--is the silicone safe--for food to be put in it and then baked and have the food come out safe to eat--no chemicals leashing into the food???
Thanks and have an awesome pantry day--
luv, di
This N That said…
Yes, this has been a very white winter with more to come..I can do without tomorrows promised ice though.Those birds have been here all winter..Do I imagine a hint of yellowing on the Finches..wishful thinking..You need a snowblower to "shovel" those paths for the animals..
Won't you have fun reorganizing our pantry..Fun thing to do..and so rewarding..
Love the silicone cupcake liners..great idea..
Be careful on the ice..Hugs
deodar said…
I too, have concerns about using silicone in a hot oven. I know it's supposed to be safe but then, they said that about teflon. Guess I'll stick with the unbleached parchment paper muffin tin liners. Organizing the pantry is a very satisfying endeavor!
Anonymous said…
i heard my first new birdsong on 2/10, around noon. i was really surprised because it's still been so cold here in NE ohio. it was 20 F. at the time, and that was the high for that day, and most days lately. today it got up to 27, and folks were out in the street celebrating. kids had even put aside their sleds to play basketball on a backyard court down the street. meanwhile, i'm still chipping the 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch layer of ice out of my 6-car driveway from the ice storm over the weekend. it didn't start to melt much until yesterday (wednesday). but today i went at it with the long-handled edge trimmer tool (looks like a big scraper) that i got at a garage sale for $2 years ago. makes a DANDY ice scraper/lifter. --suz in ohio