Snow critters, and brief Ginger Bug update

Yesterday was a recovery day for me, so some things waited until later, and the girls took care of others for me – like shoveling the snow boulders from the driveway clearing out from in front of the garage. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve asked the renters how much we owe them for the awesome driveway clearing jobs, and was told to just forget out it! They are so sweet. It also snowed lightly for most of the day, so when I headed out this morning, I did some more shoveling.

But not here! At least, not yet. This is our feeding station, and you can see that the deer have dug into the snow to get at the sunflower seeds. We haven’t started buying deer feed yet, so the next time we pick up feed, I think we’ll get a couple of bags of deer feed, instead of the black oil seed we get over the summer months. The deer feed we get locally is basically just grain and sunflower seeds, though if we went into town, we could get feed that includes more stuff in it, including corn. The deer – and birds – seem to be happier with the simpler mix. The fact that it’s also cheaper is just bonus. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My husband was a sweetheart and had already given the cats food and water. He had used plain tap water, however, and with ice already in the bowls, by the time I came out, the surface was frozen over already, and the cats were licking ice, even though it was only -9C/16F I had started a kettle going before I left, however, just in case, so my husband was able to bring out a jug of water – half tap water and half boiling water – for me.

Since the water was still pretty hot, I didn’t knock the ice out of the bowls completely before topping them up. The cats were drinking it before I could finish pouring! I even added some to the bird bath. I’m not doing like I did in the past; chopping the ice out with a hatched and filling it with water. The basin is already cracked and I’m amazed it hold any water at all, anymore, though we do now keep a smaller metal basin in it, and that’s what I’m putting the warm water in.

When I came back later, there was even more of kitties, taking turns drinking!

They really do seem to appreciate the warm water.

With so much deep snow, my morning rounds are less extensive, though it now includes trekking to the corner of the property, by the new sign, to make sure it’s still there and undamaged, and switch out the memory card on the trail cam. This morning, I also worked on clearing some of the walking paths, including the one to the kibble tray under the shrine.

As anyone with glasses knows, working in these sorts of conditions means working mostly blind, as the lenses fog up and then freeze over. So I was mostly looking over my glasses, and not seeing a whole lot. Even so, I could see something… odd… near the base of the shrine. A strange dark patch in the snow.

This was not there when I topped their kibble up, last night!

Something has dug a new burrow under the shrine!

I don’t know what digging critter we’ve got around here that isn’t hibernating right now. I’ve seen a little skunk in the kibble house recently (we usually just see the one big one, these days), so maybe it was a skunk? I don’t know.

Making my way back to the kibble house, I spotted our newcomer. I’d seen only flashes of her yesterday. I’m happy she weathered the blizzard all right, wherever she was at the time.

Then, because I am a suck when it comes to the cats, after I shoveled all around the cats’ house, including opening up gaps so the cats can get under it, and a path to where they go under the laundry line platform, I dug the cat path to the storage house, which is what they are in, in the above photo.

Looking at the 5 day forecast, we are supposed to reach a high of -1C/30F tomorrow, with a bit of snow, then 2C/36F with rain and snow, the day after. Which means all the areas we are digging out should melt down to the ground, or close to it. It also means that when I drive into the city, early tomorrow morning, to the courthouse for Case Management in regards to our restraining order against our vandal, it’s going to be potentially dangerous driving. The van has good snow tires, though, so that should help, but I’m really not looking forward to the drive at all.

On the plus side, when I checked the trail cam files this morning, I saw the snow plow go by twice, so I know our gravel roads are completely cleared.

Oh, I just remembered a recent conversation I had with my brother, when we were scrambling to get things done before the snow came. Particularly the garden beds. I’d mentioned wanting to get some manure, when he brought up the manure pile that used to be behind the barn. I remember that pile. We used to have a pig pen beyond it, too. The pile is gone, and there is no evidence of the pig pen, with its shelter for the pigs in one corner, left. Not only that, but there are hollows in the area, where the ground has been dug deeper, that has had me wondering. I’d say they were made with a small front end loader, like what would fit on a small tractor or the Bobcat that was here. It’s all grown over now, so it’s been like that for a long while, but… it looks like our vandal even stole the manure pile! Probably for his own fields or garden, but… who steals manure??? Of course, we don’t actually know who took it, when or why, but there’s no one else that would have done it.

On a completely different topic, we finally got to try our first Ginger Bug Pop last night! It took a week to fully ferment, in our fairly chilly dining room. We all gave it a try, and all of us found it quite tasty. It definitely worked, though I found it really sweet. I haven’t been able to get a good photo of it, yet, but I’ll make a separate post about it when I finally do.

The Re-Farmer

3 thoughts on “Snow critters, and brief Ginger Bug update

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