From inside a NC snowstorm of vast proportions

Feb. 12, 2014

Snow!! More snow than I can keep up with. I sweep my little pathways clear every hour or so to the bird feeding areas, but I’ve given up on the ramp on the deck. That snow is over a foot high and I can no longer push it with the broom. I tell myself that after the pending ice storm, to add insult to injury, the ice will be easier to remove from the walkways if I leave the snow alone. Dirk moved his car to the edge of the road, so if some emergency arose we could at least get the car in the road, although, since they probably won’t plow out here, I doubt we’d get very far. I have a full bucket of wood ashes to bring along in the car when we do need to go out. I’ve had around 100 birds only on the deck, all at once today: over a dozen cardinals at once, chipping, white throated and fox sparrows, a gold-crowned kinglet I accidentally found in a picture:  one of my “goldfinches”–I can’t identify the pine siskins, kinglets, various kinds of warblers–they look very much alike. Below the deck, as the sparrows toss the seed around, there is a second feeding area with another hundred birds there–many juncoes and sparrows.

I’m thankful for our woodstove. I have 2 bricks on top, warming up, so that if our power goes off tonite, at least we’ll have warm feet. We long ago replaced our electric range Imagewhen one element too many burned up, so we have the comfort of being able to cook on a “real” stove, rather than the tedious process of continually stoking the woodstove to eventually get a pot warm.

I baked apple oatmeal squares from the old Mennonite Cookbook, also some coconut-walnut squares. Both are very sweet, but after shoveling, they’re just right. Besides, if we lose power, we can have some of those sweets with our tea.

Dirk has the wood holder on the deck full and covered with a tarp, and a large pile of wood near the stove. I picked up a lawn-cart full of fallen branches, pine cones, etc., a couple days ago, and now I’m enjoying the warmth of this tinder, especially since some of the firewood is wet.

When you can see my car, bird droppings decorate roof and driver’s door and windshield. I noticed today a flower from the maple tree that shades my car in summer, floating in a bucket of water beside the raised bed. No wonder the birds are there. There must be bugs on the flowers–lunch for the birds, even in the snowImage.

The crocuses are big buds, but we haven’t had the warm temperatures to coax them to bloom yet–and now they’re buried under about 8 inches of snow, and it’s still rapidly coming down–about 2 inches an hour. Usually at this time, we’re turning over the vegetable garden, getting ready to plant peas. That’s not going to happen very soon.  Last year at this time we were eating spring onions from the garden, but this year it’s been so cold they’re lying green and flat along the ground.

I’m thankful for a warm home, and that I don’t have to depend on my garden for our survival. I have tomatoes, kale and figs in the freezer from last summer’s garden, but I do miss those onions.

And now I’ll go out and put more bird seed out, because in an hour they’ll all vanish into whatever snug sleeping quarters they’ve found around the woods. The food keeps them warm, and such harsh conditions as this demand support. I do wonder where my pine and purple finches have gone this winter. I haven’t seen a single one. I haven’t seen the woodpeckers today, either, nor the nuthatches, since early this morning before the snow fell.

Mrs. Wren is walking up and down the door frame when she’s not hopping into the various feeders. She’ll have a nest nearby before long. Last year I found her sitting on a nest in the top of a feed bag full of pine cones, waiting on the front porch for us to need them for starting the fire. I never used them, even after she fledged. And a year later when I realized nothing had touched that old nest, I dumped it all out, and there had been two nests, one on top of the other. I’m glad I waited.

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4 Comments

Filed under Birds, gardening, Satisfaction, Weather

4 responses to “From inside a NC snowstorm of vast proportions

  1. Judy – why didn’t you tell me you have a blog?!! I will follow along and share at Homestead Lady when I can. Love to you!

    • Hi, Tessa,

      It occurred to me that if Id been reading your blog, Id have known you were moving to MS!

      We plan to move next year to RIthe house there is rented 🙂 Its on land my mothers family owned 350 yr. ago, and we used to visit her cousins there when I was young. Theyre all gone now, but Ill still feel at home up there. Were both excited about it. Well miss our sheep, but our last one from our own flock is 17 now, and feeling her age, not getting around much now. Our companion sheep from Elaina in Efland is a Shetland, much younger than Suzie, but when Suzie goes, she will go back to Elaina, and well be sheepless, for the first time in 17 yr. Well still have our Great Pyr., and just fasten the pasture gate open, so both dogs can have 2 whole acres to patrol. They get along fine already, so that wont be a problem, I dont believe. I think well have to put the electric fence on again, for the first time in 3 yr., to be sure they stay away from the road, though.

      How are you and your family? Will your mother move with you? Does Shain have a good job in the new place?

      Blessings,

      Judy 919 880 2557

      https://spinningshepherd.wordpress.com/ “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” –Buddha (maybe)

  2. I was just thinking of you earlier. I am glad to hear that you and your husband are safely at home. 🙂

    • Thanks for thinking of us. Were both exhausted from all the extra work a heavy snow bringsbut were warm and dry! So far, powers still on, thank goodness. I made tea from the tea kettle on the woodstove tonite 🙂 That is a very cozy room! Judy 919 880 2557

      https://spinningshepherd.wordpress.com/ “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” –Buddha (maybe)

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