It’s easy to get excited about things today. As I write this, we are at a balmy -18C !!
Okay, the wind chill is at -27C, but that’s okay. We’re at -18C! And our predicted high is -15C! It’s feeling like spring out there!
For my friends in the US, -18C is 0.4F, -27C is -16.6F, and -15C is 5F.
Last night, we did hit temperatures of -33C/-24F with a wind chill of -37C/-35F, so this is a huge increase in the space of about 14 hours. Not only that, but by the 22nd, just 5 days from now, we’re supposed to reach 2C/36F
I don’t know how we’re going to handle all that heat. LOL
Even the deer are happy. I took these shots, after I’d done the morning rounds.
I had seen two deer at the feeding station, but by the time I came back with my phone to take pictures, there were three!
Cabbages was watching them – and didn’t run away when I came close to take pictures!
When I headed out this morning, there wasn’t a yard cat in sight, which concerned me a bit. With the increased temperatures, I expected to see them all over. Then I saw the fluffy white flag in the outer yard! 😀 My brother’s dog had come to visit the kitties, and they were all in hiding. They did eventually come to the kibble house, and indulge in some warm water, though.
I’m starting to think that the terrarium heat bulb inside the cat’s house has stopped working. I can see by the red light on the timer that it is still getting power when the light sensor is triggered. However, that spot on the roof where the snow would melt is not clear, even after I shoveled off most of the snow and things have warmed up in general. We have no thermometer inside (something we intend to add, later in the year), so the only way to tell would be by lifting the roof and manually checking the ceramic bulb.
Which is not going to happen, any time soon! Unless the heated water bowl gets unplugged again, we are not lifting that roof. 😀
I ran our van while I was switching out the memory cards on the trail cams. The coolant levels are where they are supposed to be, which is good. It’s still making a whining noise, but I no longer think it’s the cold serpentine belt. I think it’s the power steering, right next to it. Something else to get checked. *sigh*
Trading the locations of the trail cams seems to have worked. When I switched the memory card in the new camera, the display screen inside activated without my having to warm it up with my hands, first! We had a busy day at our gate, yesterday. The older camera, which is set to take only short videos, had 44 files for me to check. The new camera, which is set to take 3 stills, then a short video, had 233 files waiting for me! It did have a hard time with night shots, but it was taking stills with an internal temperature of -25C/-13F before stopping completely. The other camera was still recording, and I finally saw what has been close enough to trigger the motion sensors, but too far for the infrared flash to light up. I could just barely see the shadow of a deer walking though the far end of the driveway, by the road.
So the camera set up is working better now, which is the important thing.
And now for the thing that I’m really excited about!
As the girls and I were pouring over the diagram of the property, our need to buy soil – and a lot of it – is something we just can’t get away from. It’s not even that we don’t have the years it would take to build up the soil, as we originally planned, but that we don’t have the organic material to do it. We just don’t produce enough compost, don’t have enough yard waste, and don’t have access to the amounts of manure and other amendments we need, in the quantities we’ll need.
I’ve tried to find out how much it would cost to get a dump truck load of garden soil through various sites, but I don’t know how much a dump truck would hold in the first place. We don’t plan to have a load spread onto the garden area. We just want a pile that we will spread ourselves, where we need it, as we need it. Most of where we are planting this year is going to be temporary, anyhow, so we will be very selective on where we put purchased soil.
Then there are all the different mixes you can get. Some sites I found offered a basic 3 part mix of soil, compost and manure, while others offered up 4 and 5 part mixes, with additional amendments. Of course, the more in the mix, the higher the cost, but without knowing how many square yards I’m even after, there was no way to figure out how much it would cost. The only thing I really had to go by was how much my older brother paid for loads of soil, but he wasn’t buying garden soil. He was buying things like fill and gravel. Still, it gave me the closest thing to a ball park figure I was able to find.
Today, I decided to call a local company. They have a yard just a couple of miles away from us, and we pass it every time we go to town. I knew they did gravel, but in passing the yard, I could see they had soil, too. Was it fill? Topsoil? Garden soil? I had no idea.
So I called them up and asked if they had garden soil, and was told, yes, they did. Then he began rattling off four of the five part mix they have! He couldn’t remember the last one, but it includes both cow and sheep manure, as well as a type of sand, to make it lighter. I’m guessing the one he couldn’t remember was compost. With the companies I found online, this would be their high end premium mix, but for this company, it’s the only mix they have!
I asked about load sizes, and their truck holds 10 – 12 square yards of garden soil, and we would be charged only $25 a yard.
And because we are so close, that would include the cost of delivery!
A load of 12 square yards would cost about $300. I’m assuming there would be taxes on top of that.
That is about half of what I was expecting it to be.
My older brother happened to call not long after, and when I told him about it, he was astonished at the price. He also wondered if a single load would be enough, but at this price, we’ll be able to get two!
I’ll be calling the company back to arrange delivery around April. That gives us time to figure out where we want to have the soil dumped. If we’re getting two loads, I’m thinking maybe get one for the inner yard, and one for the outer yard, but I really can’t think of where we can place a truck load in the inner yard.
We’re already looking forward to what we’ll be able to plant this year. That we’ll be able to afford the soil is just icing on the cake! We were talking about waiting until we get our tax returns to do this, but the cost is so much lower than expected, we could even be able to do it from our normal budget, even if we’d have to split it between two months – so long as we don’t have anything break down! 😀
I just realized something.
We can get a dump truck full of premium garden soil for less than the cost of getting a cat spayed.
Something seems wrong about that!