Yep, I over did it on the 13th getting the Xmas lights up and mowing up the leaves on the front lawn. It did not help that SW Idaho had a wind storm of 30 MPH+ wind come through on Friday. I know some of you live in places that sort of wind is considered “breezy” but around my place it really seemed to wear me out. Funny it wasn’t that cold but the wind would chill you down and seemed to cut right through me. All I had to do on the blustery day is make a “wood run” with my garden wagon to top off the porch woodpile.
Friday it was very calm with almost no wind to speak of and warm (40 degrees F.) so I could remove just a bit of ice, clean out all the bird baths and add fresh water. It seems the little birds enjoy having the fresh water in the bird baths almost as much as the bird feeders. Fresh, unfrozen water in winter is probably more rare than finding food in winter. I have plenty of bushes and trees for the birds to find safe places from predators along with a good food supply. I’m not saying a cat or a hawk could not take a small bird but the predator would have to work at it in spite of the provided food and water supply. My dogs think chasing off any cats their duty.
Mom told me once the birds found a consistent feed source the birds would let all all of their bird friends know and when you add in a bird bath of fresh unfrozen water. You will get a flock of the little birds to hang around. I have a dove that stops by for a snack and drink of water again, though I doubt I’ll see different types of birds until this place becomes a known food spot during migrations or a safe place for the birds that don’t migrate. Perhaps in the Spring I can add a few bird houses to give a migration stop off point. Sort of an B&B for birds.
I’m trying to do the homemade dog food mix on the weekend. I know many people avoid mixing up dog food as doggies gut get used to a type of food but I think I need to introduce more homemade dog food and give the dogs a few choices on what to eat. One thing I have noticed is a higher protein, fat and veggie and lower grain mixture gets eaten quickly compared to a higher carb mix. The veggies I add (broccoli, peas &carrots, corn) don’t seem to affect the dogs as far as eating the food.
Onto the wood stove update and kindling. It looks like my little kindling box of wood will last about 7-10 days using the “egg crate” fire starter. My kindling box is a small wood lat wood crate you can buy at most craft stores. My crate is much smaller than the wood crate Wranglestar uses for 2 weeks of kindling. The wood stove is basically my only source of heat I use in late fall, winter and early spring. I don’t have a lot of long burning hardwoods this year, so I depend on the the new windows and insulation in my house to hold heat and keep everything warm and above freezing. This is working great. I have not only kept up with my fire starting needs but have kept Mom supplied at her house while she was recovering from a fall/injury. One thing that is new for me is letting the wood stove go out during the day, once the house is warm. Having the fire starters and kindling makes starting a fire so fast and easy I don’t mind starting a fire a couple times a day.