Just a bit earlier, today

With how bitterly cold it has been for the past while, I have been doing my morning rounds much later in the morning. It may only have been a couple of degrees warmer, but I was taking anything I could get! Usually, by the time I came out, the outside cats were hovering around the door, looking for me to come out with warm water.

This morning, I headed out at a more usual time, even though it was -31C/-24F with a wind chill of -33C/-27F

Absolutely none of the cats came out to greet me! LOL

The only cat I saw was Nosy and, other than lifting his head to look at me, he did not move! Considering that he is curled up right under where the terrarium bulb is, I’m guessing it’s still working.

My brother’s dog was visiting again. He’s loving this cold so much! šŸ˜€ I didn’t have any cats joining me for my rounds, but I did have him to keep me company! You can even see him in the photo below.

We have deer paths all through the garden area and the East yard, but none are as well worn as these, here. We used to have a trail cam facing where they would cross the road from my brother’s place and jump our fence. One of these days, I’d like to set one up again. I miss seeing how many deer used to cross here!

What I found this morning, however, is that the top barbed wire is loose from one post, and it was twisted around the middle wire. It had been torn loose when a deer didn’t quite clear the fence! I’m going to have to find some U nails and head out with a hammer to fix it.

Long term, we’re going to have to find a way to stop the deer from entering our yard around here at all. As much as I like them, I don’t want them eating the garden! Privacy is also a goal, and not just from our vandal creeping about. Even with the lilac hedge and other trees along the fence like, people driving by like to slow down and peer into the property. Particularly if there are deer at the house. The fence posts around the garden area all need to be replaced, and I want to get away from barbed wire completely, so building a privacy fence around the garden area that the deer can’t jump over is right in line with our goals. When we can do that is another question entirely! šŸ˜€

Speaking of gardens…

This morning, I noticed that the label for the bunching onions in the small tank had been knocked over. Though I had blocked the opening in the lid, a cat had still managed to reach in and bat at things. When I lifted the lid to fix it, though, I could feel it was noticeably colder than the room!

Clearly, lining the inside of the tank with insulation was not enough. The above picture is from when the trays were first put into the tank. Not only did a cat knock over the label, but I found one of the peaks of cardboard in a corner had been torn off!

The light on this tank is LED. It provides no warmth. The light on the big tank is fluorescent (I had thought it was LED, too, but was remembering incorrectly), so it does help keep the seedlings warm. The little tank was way too cold for the seeds!

After thinking about how we could warm up the inside of the tank, I remembered something. Years ago, I’d bought a small, recessed bulb, light fixture to provide spot lighting while I was working on crafts, etc. I stopped using it because it had a tendency to get very hot, even with an LED bulb. The bulb would be cool, but the fixture would get hot. I kept it and we even brought it along when we moved here. So this morning, I dug it out, then went through a bag of bulbs we have. We replaced almost all of the light bulbs here with LED bulbs, plus we still had some that the movers accidentally included when packing our stuff. Lo and behold, I found a full spectrum incandescent light bulb in the mix.


So I set the light fixture up on the edge of the tank, with the lid propped on it to hold it in place. I also dug around our aquarium supplies and found the little tank thermometer. The suction cup doesn’t work anymore, but I could still set it up inside the tank so that we could monitor the temperature.

It worked. In only a few minutes, I could feel a significant difference! (The thermometer will need more time to read accurately, since it was in the old kitchen, where it’s below freezing temperatures.)

We can only have this light going while someone is there to supervise, since it could literally melt the plastic of the lid. Since the tank is lined with insulation, once it warms up inside, it will stay warm for quite a while, so a few minutes here and there will be adequate.

On the down side, the cats still try to jump on the lid, even when it’s propped up over the light fixture.

I did not expect the small tank to be less cat proof than the big one!

The Re-Farmer

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