The Bird Feeder Out My Studio Window

 

I think that’s a female cardinal on the feeder

I sew my scarves and the birds go to and from the feeder outside my window.

They roost all over the farm, the lilac bushes, the tree tops, the woodshed, the barn.  Some come and go quickly grabbing seeds and others grip the feeder with their feet, pecking at the suet or craking the sunflower shells and eating the seeds while I watch.

Dark-eyed Juncos are shadows their white bellies reflecting the snow.  The morning dove floats to the earth like angels from heaven, fan-tailed, their wings all outstretched feathers.

Busy, busy, back and forth.  Then in a big Whoosh, they’re gone.  As if someone called a warning invisible to my ears.

Not even a minute passes and they’re back as if nothing happened.

Fate And Her Sheep

 

We’re expecting and mix of ice and snow today.  So I may not make it to Bellydancing.

The hens haven’t come out of the roost for days, but they did lay another egg yesterday.  I’m continuing to feed the sheep and donkeys second-cut hay.  Maybe this afternoon I’ll give them some grain too.  The older sheep especially appreciate it this time of year.

 

Snowshoeing In The Woods

Zinnia crossing the Gulley bridge

The small trees were bent so low with the snow they covered the path to the Gulley bridge.  I shook them knocking the snow to the ground, and the skinny branches stood tall again.

The last time we were in the woods, it was just beginning to snow. Now the grasses and bushes were laid low enough for me to walk over, my snow shoes crushing them further into the ground.

Snow outlined every branch and stuck to the north side of the trees.  My first stop was the pine cave.  It was not the igloo I imagined, yet it held up well with little snow inside.  But it was awkward to crawl into with my snowshoes on.   When I go back to spend more time there, I will take my snowshoes off, as I would going into anyone’s home.

Fate and Zinnia and I wandered the woods, not the least bit cold.  We only turned back when one of the bindings on my snowshoe broke.  I flopped around for a while, trying to say on level ground.  Then finally thought to use the shoelace from my boot to tie my boot to the webbing of my snowshoe.  It worked so well I was tempted to stay out longer.

But I still had scarves to sew and wanted to get them done before it got too dark and cold.

My snowshoes are old, so I imagine all the straps will begin to break.  I’ll figure out the best way to fix them and carry some extra string with me the next time I wear them  into the woods.

Tracks In The Snow

With the snow comes footprints.

Evidence of animals and their movements that might otherwise be hidden.  Maybe not to a tracker, they would know in all seasons.  But for me, the snow tells the story of who is visiting the farm when I’m not looking.

I thought about shoveling paths in the barnyard yesterday.  But the snow wasn’t so deep that the sheep and donkeys weren’t able to make their own paths.

This morning their movement was evident.

There were clear and well-used trials from the barn to the water and feeders.  But there were also less distinguished trails into the back pasture.  These weren’t speckled with the dirt the animals trialed out from the pole barn.  Less densely packed, they were visible from the sky-blue shadow the depression cast in the snow.

Behind my studio, I saw the tracks of the squirrel that lives in the maple tree.

I  followed them from the base of the tree to the missing rocks in my studio’s foundation.  Bud followed them too, sniffing at the hole, probably wishing he were just a little smaller so he could surprise the squirrel in her hideaway.

Before she had her leg amputated, long before Bud, Minnie use to crawl through that space and sleep under my studio.  Sometimes I’d hear her snoring through the floorboards.

I’ve never heard the squirrel under the floor, but now I know she goes there too.

It was when I got the mail that I saw the cat prints from Route 22, up the driveway, and onto the front porch.  Then they turned, went back down the steps and under the porch.

This was one of Flo’s favorite napping spots.

I know there is a feral cat that visits the farm.  I’ve seen him from a distance a few times in the years we’ve been here.  He comes and goes, wild cat that he is.

In the woods, I looked for more tracks.  But maybe all the small animals were burrowing under the snow, because I didn’t see many of them.   I did walk in some of the deer tracks, my snow shoes obscuring them.

And then I came upon a spot of deer blood and urine in the snow.  I believe it’s a deer because of the footprints around it. And I’ve read that a doe will bleed when she is in heat.  I was drawn to the color.  The deep red that created a hole in the snow.  And the mix of yellow urine with the blood that showed up orange just next to it.

Tomorrow we’re supposed to get more snow.  It will fall, covering up the tracks I saw and made myself today.  Then I can start all over, looking for new tracks in the snow.

The deer urine and blood in the snow

Zinnia’s Egg

 

The egg in the roosting box this morning

To my surprise, there was an egg in the chicken coop this morning.   I just dumped all the old hay from the coop in the barnyard where Fanny and Lulu scarfed it up when I looked in the roosting boxes and found a single, very dirty egg.

Maybe, I thought, the hens have been laying all along just not in the coop and there’s a clutch of them freezing in the barn or under the snow.

Since the hens haven’t come out of the coop in three days, they have no choice but to lay their eggs where they are and where I can easily find them.

Maybe this snowy confinement will get them back into the habit of laying eggs in the coop.

I took the egg and not wanting to go back into the house (I was still shoveling and taking care of the animals) I put it in the planter on the back porch.

I was so looking forward to half of that fresh egg for breakfast, but when Jon and I were ready to go in the house, the egg was gone.

“Did you bring the egg into the house?” I asked Jon.  When he said he hadn’t, I went to look for myself.  Maybe I brought it in and forgot?

When it wasn’t on the dish drain where I would have put it, it occurred to me that Zinnia must have eaten it.

It was the only logical conclusion.  There was this egg smelling of chicken poop in a planter on the back porch the same height as Zinnia’s nose.

I imagine she gobbled it up.

The good news for me is that there was another egg in the coop this afternoon.  This time I made sure to bring the egg right into the house.

Maybe there will be another egg in the morning and Jon and I can each have our own.

No WiFi

 

Fate on the Gulley Bridge

It’s 6:30 pm and I’m in my studio writing this.  The heat has been on a while but without the sun,  it’s still cold in here.

Normally I’d be in the house blogging on a Sunday, but our Wifi is out.  This morning all the internet was out, but we spend a couple of hours on the phone with someone at Spectrum and he got most of it fixed.

Except for the WiFi.

I’m in my studio because I have a cable hook up here.  I wrote the previous piece on Pages while I was in the house next to the woodstove with a cup of tea,  then came to my studio to cut and paste it onto my blog.

But now it’s time for dinner and I don’t see coming back out to my studio to write again.

So have a good night all and I’ll be back tomorrow.

This Really Is The Last Of The Sheep Potholders

 

I know I’ve said it before, but this really is the last of the Sheep Potholders.

Today I used up the rest of the sheep fabric that Linda sent me.  I was able to make 7 more potholders then…

…I used the small pieces of sheep that I salvaged from the remainder of the fabric.  I still have some scraps, with parts of sheep on them, (like legs and backs), that I may use to start off a new quilt.

I’ll finish these up and put them for sale in my Etsy Shop next week.

 

Full Moon Fiber Art