Our 2022 garden: squash patches mulched, shade cloth ready

With today predicted to be very hot, the girls and I headed out much earlier than usual. Normally, they do the evening stuff while I do the morning stuff, but this was a big job, and I wanted to get it done before the heat hit.

The big squash patch is now completely mulched. I’m glad I put all those sticks in! All the squash started at 4 weeks before last frost date are all still so tiny. The mulch will also help to protect them from any heavy rains and storms we may get.

The other squash patch, with the corn and beans in between, also got a layer of mulch.

Last of all, the hulless pumpkins next to the bean tunnel got a layer, too.

Look how tall the garlic is!! Love it!

I brought out the old sheets we were using as shade cloth last year, and one of my daughters helped me set them up over two of the beds with spinach in them. It felt odd to put up shade cloth when it’s so overcast.

I’m trying to think of what we can use to put over some of the other beds, to protect them from heavy rains and possible hail. The netting we have might keep critters out, but the mesh is too large to protect from heavy rains or hail. Last year’s row covers that fell apart when we moved them has old window screen mesh on one of them, but it’s too narrow to use without more support than the twine we’ve got now. I’m thinking of the mosquito netting we used as row covers might work. We only need to cover the tops of the beds enough to protect from heavy rain, while still letting water through. I’m not too keen on using the mosquito netting, as it sheds long strands from the cut sides, and I’m still finding them among the weeds in the old kitchen garden. Those strands don’t break easily, and are something small critters could get caught up in. The best thing would be to hem up the cut edges, but that wouldn’t be done until we have them in the sizes we want.

We’re getting all these predictions for high temperatures and advisories for heat, but… it’s almost cool out there. We’re also getting storm warnings that are all over the place. One minute, the storms are expected on Tuesday. Then Sunday (tomorrow). Then tonight. Then not at all. Then Monday.

I am, however, hearing thunder as I write this, and I can see from the trees out my window, that the winds are picking up.

My dropped the idea of getting more weed trimming done today. The necessary areas are already done; anything else is just bonus at this point. The ground is almost dry enough to mow in places, but that’s not going to happen either.

Well, we got the main thing done. The squash patches are now mulched.

The Re-Farmer

Just in time!

It looks like we got the transplants in, just in time!

This morning, I was awakened by the sound of thunder and pouring rain. By the time I headed out to do my morning rounds, it was still raining, though not at hard, but the mosquitoes were so bad, I rushed through my rounds and was driven back indoors, since I didn’t use any bug spray.

This area had finally had all the standing water gone. It was still muddy, but I could have actually mowed near the lowest part, if I’d had the chance. When my daughter and I headed out to pick up her birthday pizza – early, to also celebrate getting all the transplants in! – it was pouring again. Though the grader has gone by a few times to fix all the ruts and pot holes, they were already starting to come back. Especially in that one spot near our place that had gotten so bad. I could feel the van sinking as we drove through.

By the time we were driving home, the gravel roads were significantly in worse shape but, so far, there isn’t any actual flooding happening. I don’t expect we’ll get that bad again. We are expected to continue to have rain throughout the day and, depending on which weather source I use, we’ll have heavy showers tomorrow, then thunderstorms again the day after.

I was able to check most of the transplants this morning; I didn’t even try to check the Korean Pine in the outer yard, and didn’t finish checking the sea buckthorn and silver buffalo berry before the clouds of mosquitoes dive bombing me had me on the run. So far, they all look just fine. This rain will be excellent for all those squash and melons.

We should have a 1 day break in the rain, at which point I hope to lay down the straw mulch around the squash. Then we’re supposed to have rain again, and a couple of days of increasing heat until we are supposed to get thunderstorms again, a week from now. The only real downside of that is not being able to mow the grass, which would help reduce the mosquitoes. Ah, well. It is what it is!

I’m just SO glad we got them in, just in time!

The Re-Farmer

Passed by

It looks like the storm is finally passing by – at least in our area! Right now, we’re just dealing with high winds. Ontario and Quebec continue to be hit with snow and rain, though.

The winds are coming from the north, so I was able to shovel out the nearest cat paths wearing just my reading jacket (a sort of cross between a shrug and a cardigan), with the house sheltering me from the wind. The cats were very happy with a kibble top up. Funny how, with 4 trays in the kibble house, they still crowd together like that. I saw several cats inside the cat’s house, and The Distinguished Guest, who is looking like a wet rat right now, came out of the shelf shelter against the sun room window. I’m glad I put those pieces of rigid insulation back, and made the opening smaller. A much cozier spot for weather like this.

Potato Beetle, meanwhile, remains happily in the sun room, which is just under 10C/50F. I was able to take a peak at his leg, and it seems to be healing up quite nicely. I couldn’t tell if he was favouring it or not, though.

Nosencrantz seems to have an idea of how good she’s got it right now! 😀

As for the storm, we are still getting rainfall alerts, and there is a long list of regions with either overland flooding or high water levels. None near us. As crazy as the weather seems to be, I think we all tend to have short memories. I was looking at the 30 year average and records for today, and the record low of -7C/18F was set in 2021 – just a year ago – while the record high of 23C/73F was set in 2000. I think we like to remember the warm and pleasant times better than the cold and snow. The average high for today is 11C/52F, and the average low is 0C/32F. As I write this, we are at -3C/27F. Which made finding this article timely. (click on the headline to read the rest of the article)

Reality check: April is never really that ‘nice,’ Canada
Digital Writers
The Weather Network
Thursday, April 21st 2022, 5:41 am – Spring – the season the breaks the hearts of Canadians year after year, when in reality, it shouldn’t.

We do it every year, Canada. The calendar flips to spring and the country immediately awaits the chirping birds, budding blossoms, and early trips to the beach. When in fact, more often than not, Canada spends the entire spring actually waiting for it to be…spring.

“It’s the season that most often breaks our hearts,” says Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “We have that expectation of the spring and the beautiful picturesque weather, beautiful sunshine and temperatures into the 20s, but the reality is, it’s a season that can bring everything from snow to hail and cold, cold lake breezes.”

This month as a whole as been the perfect reminder of just that.

It certainly has!

Oh! The “rainfall alert” just went away. We’re still looking at isolated flurries and blowing snow for the next couple of days. Power outages are also a possibility.

One thing I’m really appreciating.

We still have internet.

Looking at the StarLink app, it showed we had dozens of outages, last night and through the morning, yet we’ve had no noticeable disruption in service. The longest outage was for about a minute. Most were mere seconds. With our previous satellite internet, we would have lost our internet repeatedly, and for long periods. What a difference!

The Re-Farmer

This is getting crazy!

Last night the forecasts had changed, saying that we wouldn’t get much accumulation of snow, as it would melt on contact.

Well, that didn’t last long.

I made sure to top up the trays in the kibble house, late last night, because I knew they’d be extra hungry. It was raining fairly heavily, and the kibble tray on the ground was full of water, as the one under the shrine would have been. I’m so glad we built that kibble house, so the cats could have a dry, sheltered place to eat!

The trays were completely empty by morning, of course. Not a lot of cats were about, and I noticed several coming out of the cat shelter.

By the time I was done putting warm water out for them, Potato Beetle had emerged from somewhere. He ate a little – then followed me into the sun room.

He’s still there.

😀

We will have more shoveling to do, I think.

This is how things look all over the place; that slushy layer of snow built up on all the standing water.

We’re still getting rainfall alerts, though.

Rain with isolated thunderstorms continues this morning. However, a strengthening northerly wind will bring falling temperatures today. The rain will turn to snow this morning and then taper off this afternoon or evening as the Colorado Low departs the area.

Wind gusts of 70 to 80 km/h will also weaken this evening. Only minor accumulations of up to 5 cm are expected as much of the snow will melt on contact with the ground.

This much precipitation over frozen or saturated ground may lead to localized flooding including basements, underpasses, and the like. For larger scale overland flooding risks, please consult the provincial flood forecast.

I don’t know that we got any thunderstorms in our area last night, but before I went to bed, I was reading about the different areas with flooding and power outages. Thousands of households were affected by outages, mostly in the south east corner of our province, but also a few not all that far away from us.

In our case, I am actually happier with the snow instead of the rain. The ceiling in the sun room has stopped dripping, and this is what our basement looked like this morning.

Which is not too bad at all. In fact, I’d say it was better than when I last checked it at about 1:30am. My daughters checked it some time after that, too. Because of how lumpy-bumpy and uneven the concrete floor is, we sweep the standing water into the drain. There are those two drains chipped into the concrete that are helping, and there is a steady stream of water flowing through them, but water still puddles.

The drain for the weeping tile goes through here and into the septic tank, and there is enough water draining that the septic pump is triggered quite often. Our septic system is basically our sump pump right now. On the one hand, that’s a lot of wear and tear on the pump that I’d rather not have. On the other, this is pumping the excess water well away from the house, and into a low area out by the barn, rather than by the house.

My daughter shocked the hot water tank with hydrogen peroxide last night, which means it got partially drained into the sump pump reservoir. I checked the level, and it’s looking just fine. On that side of the basement, the only place I’m seeing water seeping through the concrete is a tiny patch near the furnaces, where there is a new layer of concrete on top of old, and the edges are broken up.

Right now, we are hovering around the freezing mark, and the high of the day being forecast on my desktop app is now a bit colder. Tomorrow was supposed to have a high of -5C/23F. Now they’re saying tomorrow’s high will be -3C/27F – then in just 3 days, we’re supposed to reach a high of 11C/52F! It’s supposed to drop down again to 6C/41F the next day. The 14 day trend shows our highs slowly warming back up until reaching 11C/52F again by May 5, and then just staying there. Of course, the app on my tells me something different, so we’ll see which one is the most accurate.

Interestingly, while on Facebook yesterday, I got one of those reminders of things posted on that day, years ago. This time, it was a photo I posted 14 years ago. We were still living in an apartment building at the time, and my daughter was in the lounge, standing on a chair by the window, trying to see over the snow drifted against it.

Mind you, in that city, it was not unusual get snow any month of the year, or have green grass in the middle of winter. Mountains on one side, and open prairies on the other, makes for some pretty dramatic weather changes in very short time frames. We’re actually a bit more south now, compared to the city we lived in before moving here, but here we are surrounded by lakes. It makes for some pretty significant differences.

Well, it is what it is. For now, we’ll keep monitoring the basement, and think warm thoughts.

Excuse me while I have another mug of Rooiboos tea!

The Re-Farmer

addendum: just as I was finishing up this post, I paused to pop outside and give the cats a treat – and had to chase 2 deer away from the kibble house! Then I got a call from my brother, following up the email I sent last night, about how things are going here. Their sump pump is going off every 15 minutes or so, but they also have a sump pump they set up outside, to pump water to the other side of their dike. It broke down. He’s been trying to find one, but the entire city is sold out of sump pumps. They’ll be okay for now, and he does have a spare pump he can rig up to use instead. It does remind me that I had been looking at getting a spare sump pump to have, just in case. It’s not like we can pop over to a store if ours breaks down. I think a spare septic pump would be a good idea, too. That’s something I’d have to talk to my brother about, to make sure I get the right one for our system.

All in all, we’re doing all right. I know other areas are not so fortunate, so I am thankful.

This looks familiar

The snow has continued, off and on, throughout the evening. The system that, on the animated weather radar, looked like it was going to blow past us this afternoon, now seems to have slowed down. The snow part of the system is swirling around in a giant circle covering 3 provinces and several US states, but the new moisture being pushed up from the southeast and turning from rain to snow over Ontario, looks like it’s going to miss us on its way north. We shall see.

The warnings and alerts have reduced in severity, but we’re still supposed to get blizzard conditions – it’s just been pushed back several more hours, and is now supposed to hit us at around midnight. The amount of snow did get heavier again, and the winds are still high, which means…

… the garage cam is going to be triggered to send an image by email, every minute.

We’ve had many a night of that, this winter!

Oh, wait… it’s spring. :-/

I’m tempted to change the settings, so that I’m not going to find 400-500 emails with images like this, in the morning – I have a separate email address, just for the garage cam! I know myself well enough to realize it would probably be days before I remembered to turn it back on again. 😀

I can still see tracks left by the deer I saw going by, while it was still light out. I watched them come up the driveway, but didn’t see them leave, so I went looking out various windows. I expected to see them by the feeding station, or stealing the cat kibble again. I finally spotted one standing out by the compost pile. Eventually, I saw another, also just standing in the trees.

After a while, I noticed the one by the compost pile was digging around in the snow. I had to think a moment, to remember what was there, buried under the snow.

The grass clippings pile, saved to use as mulch on the garden. It looked like the deer was eating it!

About the only good thing is that it’s at least relatively warm. We’re at -2C/28F right now, with an overnight low of -8C/18F. As long as the critters can stay out of the wind, they should be okay, as far as the cold goes. They’ve certainly have much worse to deal with these past few months.

The system is supposed to keep swirling around, with snow continuing all day tomorrow. The predictions for how much keep changing, so I’m not even paying attention anymore. We’ll get whatever we get.

We’re supposed to continue to have highs just below freezing, for almost another week, before things start thawing out again. Which means we’ll be digging out our paths again, just to move around in the yard. How things are over the next few days will determine what we’re doing for Easter. My nephew was planning to drive out, though I hope they decide against it, but whether they make it or not, my brother and his wife are hoping to still do Easter dinner. I do expect the gravel roads will be plowed by then. Our municipality has been good about that. The plows would be out on the highways already, to keep the snow from accumulating too much. I’m supposed to drive my mother out with her car on Sunday, but plowed roads won’t do much good if we can’t get out of the driveway.

It should be interesting to see the state of things, in the morning!

The Re-Farmer

Storm Status, and Easter baking

Well, it’s certainly snowing and blowing enthusiastically, out there!

That hasn’t stopped the birds from enjoying the suet feeder.

The driveway is so white right now, it’s messing with the camera’s ability to “see” it, making for some interesting rings of colours on there.

I took this screencap of the weather app on my desktop, just minutes ago. According to this, the worst is still yet to come. It is still conflicting with what’s showing on the weather radar.

Well, it will be what it will be. My main concern is with the high winds, of course. When this is over, we’ll have to do a walk-about to see if any more dead trees have come down, or what branches have fallen.

From the looks of the weather radar, the most severe conditions are hitting the US, as the system sweeps across the Eastern states. I hope those of you living in those states are keeping safe!

While it’s snowing and blowing, we got some bread baking done.

A two-loaf recipe was divided into four small loaves. The prettiest one will be for our Easter basket.

Since I was baking bread anyhow, I made a batch of oatmeal bread, also divided into four small loaves instead of two regular loaves. That way, we get a loaf each. 😀

I’m looking forward to having one of them with a big bowl of chili, once it cools down enough. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Incoming

Man, monitoring this storm has been just a wild world of confusion.

I have a weather widget on my phone that has animated weather in the background to match current conditions. When I looked at it, first thing this morning, it was snowing. Opening the app, there was a message saying heavy snowfall will continue for at least an hour and a half.

What was out my window?

Nothing. Not a flake in the sky.

The edge of the storm was supposed to reach us around 3am, with blizzard conditions by 10am. We had no snow at all last night.

Looking at the weather radar, we had that remarkable bubble over our area again. The storm’s edge was swirling around us, but not on us.

Yet.

So I quickly bundled up and headed outside to do my morning rounds – spotting two deer walking through the West yard when I got into the sun room.

The sun room seems to have stayed just above freezing overnight. The Wonderberry, which is by itself at one window, where it’s colder, seems to be doing just fine. I did move it away from the window a bit more. It’s not going to get much light today, anyhow, and the closer to the window it is, the colder it is.

By the time I got outside, the first flakes were starting to fall. The winds were already quite high, though, so it was no surprise that only a few cats came out for food. I did move a small dish of food just inside the entrance to their cat house, though. Potato Beetle was the only cat in there when I started putting the food out. As overcast as it is, the light sensor on the timer should be triggered to turn on the ceramic heat bulb, so it should be nice and warm in there.

In the time it took me to put feed out for the birds and deer, put the container back in the sun room, and come back around the corner on my way to the sign cam, there were at least 4 deer at the feeding station already. They got startled and ran off into the trees, so I’m not sure, exactly.

It didn’t take them long to come back!

Snow was starting to come down a bit harder by the time I very quickly did my morning rounds. Those winds, though! We’ll have to keep an eye out for falling branches and trees. As I sit here, writing this post, I can watch the snowfall increase and the visibility drop on the garage cam live feed. The driveway and paths that had been exposed ground are now white with snow.

The weather alerts have changed, of course. The south of us is getting the brunt of the storm. The system is splitting up and swirling in two directions; the snow is being pushed to the northwest, across Manitoba and Saskatchewan, while the rain is being pushed to the east, across Ontario and Quebec. The rain part of the system looks like it’s going to be more severe than the snow part.

The alert is now saying that south of us is getting the brunt of the storm basically now, but not as much snow as expected. Our area is supposed to now get the brunt of the storm tonight and into tomorrow.

Except.

As I watch the weather radar, it looks like we’ll still be getting the brunt of the storm… now, bascially, and over the next couple of hours. Then it looks like it’s clearing up. The system should be clear of our area, continuing North and West, by about 3:30pm.

If I look at the hourly forecast, this afternoon will actually have wet flurries, but where I earlier saw predictions of 5-10cm/2-4in in one hour, over a couple of hours, I’m now seeing ~1cm or >1cm every hour through Thursday.

That’s with The Weather Network.

AccuWeather is telling me we are having “heavy snow” right now (it’s snowing, but I’d still call it flurries at the moment), while the hourly forecast is saying much the same as the other; about a centimeter – less than half an inch – per hour. The “looking ahead” note says “A snowstorm continuing into Friday morning with blizzard conditions today and storm total accumulations for 40-60cm.” This is supposed to be for our area, not the entire region the storm is crossing.

A lot of mixed messages.

So…

I look out the window, or watch the garage cam.

The snow is definitely getting heavier, though still nowhere near what I would call “heavy snow”. In past storms we’ve had this winter, when we have heavy snow, the garage cam gets whited out. We’re not there yet.

I’m watching the maple branches outside my window, and when those gusts hit, you can really tell!

But we are safe and warm inside, the outside cats are fed and should be cozy in their favorite hidey holes about the property by now.

Yesterday, we started pickling eggs for our Easter basket. Today, my goal is to bake the Easter bread.

For now, though, it’s a good time for another cup of strong, black tea!

The Re-Farmer

Turmeric update, and winter is back!

My goodness, what a day today has turned out to be!

As I dropped Turmeric off at the vet, it was just barely starting to snow. There was no snow at all as I drove home. I did, however, see 11 deer in the field by our hamlet’s fire hall, and more during the drive in!

The weather forecasts have been all over the place. Previously, this week was supposed to be about 8-10C warmer than right now, but those forecasts slowly dropped. Then we were told to expect 6-10cm (roughly 2-4 inches) of snow, then less than 1cm of snow and rain. This morning, when I checked before heading out, it was again saying 6-10cm. After dropping Turmeric off, it was saying 6-12cm.

Looking at the weather radar, I could see a huge system swirling counter clockwise over Eastern Canada and the US – many states look like they are getting walloped with rain, while snow was hitting South Eastern Canada. As usual, we looked like we’d be getting just the edge of the system.

By the time I was heading back to pick up Turmeric, the snow was falling much more heavily, though there was still some rain in it, too. Visibility was quite reduced.

I left a bit early so that I could stop to order some anniversary pizza. There’s a brand my husband and I haven’t had since we were in high school, so we couldn’t remember if we even liked it anymore. After placing the order, I went to pick up Turmeric, who was doing just fine.

Getting her was faster than the pizzas, so I waited with her in the van.

Would you look at those cracked out eyes!!! I put my phone right up against the door, then used voice to take the picture. The command I usually use is “smile”. She had been looking out the holes in the sides, but when I said “smile”, this is the look she gave me! 😀

I talked to the vet about getting more of the painkiller, just in case, but the dose is so low, and for only 3 days, she suggested I wait. If we were doing more cats soon, it would have been worth it to get a bigger bottle of the stuff, but the next cat we get done, it is likely the Cat Lady will be picking her up, and keeping her for the recovery period, instead. The stuff might expire before we use much of it, so the vet suggested waiting and just using what we have left. If we run out, we can get more.

Once we got the pizzas, it was a careful drive home. The roads weren’t that bad, but this would be a bad time for a deer to suddenly appear out of the blowing snow.

I had about 45 minutes before I headed out again, to pick up the freezer pack of beef. Time enough for supper!

The pizza was very good. I would definitely order from there again.

Due to the road conditions, I left early.

I just had to open the window to get a picture while at the stop sign. As usual, the camera cleans the shot up automatically, so visibility in real life was poorer than it seems in the photo.

The good thing is that the days are longer, so it was still light out. When we picked up our quarter beef, back in December, it was pitch black out at this time.

We met up at the parking lot of a grocery store, so I took advantage of that and went in to pick up some cake and ice cream for our anniversary, too.

Oh! I see our usual 3 deer, including the piebald, walking up our driveway on the security camera. Thankfully, they are the only deer I was seeing this evening.

Before driving home, I checked the weather conditions, and it was still saying to expect 6-12cm of snow – but for the first time, the word “storm” was used.

We shall see what we actually end up with.

I messaged the family to let them know I was on the way, and asking someone to meet me when I backed the van closer to the house, to avoid the big lake of water between the house and the garage. I got some confusing responses about a delivery. No, not the delivery of meat I just picked up. A delivery for my husband, at home!

It was very confusing.

After I’d left, they got a phone call from a delivery driver, letting my husband know he was in our little hamlet. My husband told him I was already out to pick up the delivery in the town to the North of us.

The driver was very confused.

So was my husband.

It turned out to be the pharmacy driver, with prescription refills for my husband.

We didn’t order any refills.

It seems, now that the bubble packs are made in the city, they simply fill his prescription refills automatically, then send them out to the pharmacy in town. Since we always get them delivered, and today is delivery day, they got sent out. We haven’t even been charged for them yet, or I would at least have gotten the transaction notification from my bank app.

Once that was straightened out, my younger daughter went out to meet the driver and pick up the package. Due to the nature of some of the drugs my husband takes, there was a paper for him to sign, so my daughter was going to take it in for him to do that, then bring it back out again.

She described to me what happened, herself. Since she was just popping outside briefly, she was wearing her house sandals. As she turned away from the driver, bag of pills in one hand, the paper to sign in the other, her foot went onto slush on ice, The next thing she knew, her foot slipped, spinning her into a pirouette, before she fell, slamming into the mud with one knee and the hand holding the paper, as she kept the bag of pills high in the air, so it wouldn’t hit the mud.

The driver, of course, was quite alarmed, but thankfully, she was okay. The mud was soft to land on. 😉

My husband signed a very wet and muddy paper, though.

Poor thing!

Needless to say, it was her sister who came out to help me bring the box of meat, and the bag of cake and ice cream, in.

Meanwhile, we continue to have a mix of rain and snow. Looking at the weather radar, the system that looked like it was going to just brush past us, is now right on top of us. We, however, are warm and safe inside, and well stocked. No need to go anywhere for quite a while, if we don’t want to.

The long range forecast has us at just a few degrees above freezing with more snow and/or rain, off and on, for the next two weeks before things turn spring-like again.

Tomorrow, we’re planning to start the next batch of seeds. I think that’s the perfect activity to be engaged in, with the weather we are having right now! 😀

The Re-Farmer

Just a bit of snow…

Our first blizzard of the season has passed us by. The weather system is still going, though. On the weather radar, I can see that a swath of the US, Ontario and Quebec are being hit as the storm makes its way to the East coast.

As I write this, we are at -22C/-7.6F, with a wind chill of -36C/-32.8F (I usually round the Fahrenheit down, but decided to include the decimals today. 😀 ) Our high of the day is supposed to reach -19C/-2.2F with a wind chill of -30C/-22F Tomorrow is supposed to be a couple of degrees colder.

Then on Christmas day, we’re supposed to reach a high of -9C/15.8F with a wind chill of -14C/6.8F We’ll have these mild temperatures for a couple of days, then it’s supposed to drop around the -20C’s for a couple of days, before going back to mild temperatures in time for the new year.

It’s going to feel like spring.

The girls did some shoveling yesterday, so things wouldn’t accumulate too much as it continued to snow.

I was seeing this on the live feed from the security camera last night.

The storm came in from the west, but it was swirling so much, the winds in the image are actually coming from the east!

When one of my daughters had to take the bag of cat litter they cleaned out last night to the bin we have for it outside, she had to push the door open through a snow drift.

You can see signs of that, below.

This is how it was this morning.

You can almost see the path the girls shoveled down the sidewalk! 😀

They also shoveled in front of the cat shelters.

Do you see those icicles hanging from the cat house roof? You know what that means?

It’s warm in there! Warm enough to melt the snow from underneath.

I’m so glad that aquarium bulb is working out as a heater! It’s not enough to warm it up too much, either; too warm, and it will affect their ability to acclimatize to the winter and put them more at risk from the cold.

Some snow did get into the kibble house, unfortunately. We’ll have to clean that out later, when we’re doing more shoveling. This morning, I just did the minimum I needed to do to feed the critters.

The other water bowls were completely buried, but the heated water bowl was doing just fine!

You can see tracks in the background, between the two shelters. Those led to the storage house, so we know that some cats are still sheltering under there, too.

Once I cleared enough snow to give the cats fresh food and water, I continued clearing a path to the feeding station, where the smaller bird feeder is hanging. That will do for now. Eventually, we will need to dig paths to the compost pile, down the sidewalk and to the electricity meter, and to the garage. The girls had cleared all three doors of the garage, including where the snow blower is stored. I can see on the security camera that it isn’t completely filled it again. 😀

I was going to take pictures of the shoveling I did this morning, but I just wanted to get back inside! Plus, my glasses were frosted over and I couldn’t see. 😀

Aside from the paths, we will need to clear the driveway to the road, of course, but we will also need to clear into the yard, for when we need to drive up to the house. That has to include space for a turning radius. Plus, we will need to make paths around the house, so we can reach the septic tank, if needed, and it would be good to have a path to the fire pit, too. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take the big snow blower in to see why it won’t start and get it fixed. So all we’ve got is the little electric one. We do also have an “electric shovel” that my dad used to use. We used it our first winter here. So we won’t have to do all of it by hand, at least!

All that clearing does not have to be done right away. We are well stocked and don’t have to go anywhere, so it can wait until it warms up a bit.

The last couple of winters, our first blizzards were in October, so this one was very late in the season. It may be a lot more snow than we’ve had so far, but it’s actually not too bad. We still only got hit by the edges of the storm. The more severe parts of the storm moved across the Canada/US border, so the south of the provinces all got hit a lot harder. We are doing pretty good where we are. I’m also happy to have more snow in general. Having this stored water will be essential in the spring, for gardens and fields. Lots of snow with a nice, gradual spring melt, would be ideal conditions for planting in the spring, whether it’s farmers’ crops or garden beds. Our first two summers here were drought conditions. Last year, we had a wet spring, followed by a hot, dry summer, and that wet spring was enough to keep crops going through the heat later on.

We shall see what the rest of the season brings us. I’ve seen predictions for both severe cold and mild temperatures for this winter. So far, it’s looking like the mild prediction is the one that’s panning out.

Until then, we’ll enjoy our Christmas while snowed in, all warm and cozy!

Including the outside kitties. 🙂 Relatively speaking!

I hope anyone reading this that got hit by this storm, too, is also safe, warm and well!

The Re-Farmer

Stormy day

If all had gone to plan for today, I would be just arriving at my mother’s right now, to help her with her grocery shopping.

This morning, things were looking just fine out.

Some of the cats still didn’t want to go out in the relatively warm temperatures! 😀

Switching out the memory card on the new camera was a problem this morning. I had my little bowl under it and pushed the micro SD card in to unlatch it, but it didn’t pop out. I tried several times, eventually getting it looser, but I still couldn’t get the card out. It has a little ridge at the end for taking it out of card reader adapter, but even pulling on that with a fingernail was not getting it loose. It did eventually come out, dropped into the waiting bowl I was holding under it…

Then bounced out, and fell into the snow.

*sigh*

I put the replacement card in, then went hunting. Thankfully, the snow was really soft under the camera, and I could see a little slot in the snow were the memory card sliced through. I scooped a handful around where it fell, but still couldn’t find it. The snow was so soft, it fell even deeper! So I had to very carefully dig around in the snow, and I did find it.

I then had to make sure it got good and dry before using it!

I also have to come up with something better to catch the memory card, that I can also fit in my pocket. Ideally, I’d have a little tray attached to the post, under the camera. Figuring out how to rig one of those up would probably be better.

It’s a good thing we’re not actually trying to hide the camera or anything like that! LOL

There has got to be a better way to do this, though. :-/

When I finally tried to upload the files, however, I realized I’d forgotten something important.

I hadn’t formatted the second card. There was nothing on it.

When setting up the camera with the first card, I was able to format it right in the trail cam. When I switched cards yesterday, I wasn’t able to get the screen working (likely due to the cold), and I forgot completely about it needing to be formatted before use.

So there’s a day or recordings, lost! I even saw our vandal going by on his quad, in files on the other camera, turning around near our driveway. It did look like he was just turning around, not stopping or doing anything nefarious, but I really would have liked to have had the different view of him.

We shall see how things work tomorrow.

That’s if I switch out the cards tomorrow. I might skip a day, with the weather we’re having right now.

On seeing that it looked like the storm was actually going to hit us, and fairly soon, I called my mother to see if she was up to doing her shopping earlier. She was, thankfully. She had other places she wanted to go to as well, so we picked up the groceries last. Unfortunately, there was a line up outside the store, which she had never seen before! With the restrictions on how many people can be in the store, they had someone outside (poor kid was NOT dressed for the weather!), counting people. He was a sweetheart and got a cart for me that I could bring to my mother so she could use it as a walker. Thankfully, the line was moving fast, so my 89 yr old mother with her damaged knee didn’t have to stand outside in the cold for very long!

I’m rather incensed about that. Not only have there been no cases of Covid traced to retail outlets in our province, there are none at all in her town.

The storm reached her town while we were in the grocery store. I was able to bring her groceries to her apartment, at least (her building is locked down, but it turns out they do allow deliveries). I wasn’t able to stay and put her groceries away for her, like I usually do. I didn’t want to get her in trouble with the abusive caretakers. Things didn’t look too bad in town, but once I reached the highway, I could see the storm had reached town. I actually drove out of it on the way home, but in the last couple of miles to the farm, I could actually see the storm coming in from the west. Not longer after I got home, my mother phoned to say how glad she was that we did her shopping earlier, because it was really blowing hard around her building! By then, we were getting fairly heavy snow, but not the winds. As I write this, the snow has actually let up a bit. The south of the province is getting the blizzard warnings. It’s a large system, but we may be far enough north to get just the edges of it.

The good thing is, we are well stocked and, now that my mother is also well stocked, we don’t have to go anywhere for some time. We could probably hunker down until after New Year’s, if we needed to. Not that I expect to need to. The storm should pass by tomorrow, and we’re supposed to get a couple of cold days, and then its supposed to get mild again. And by “mild”, I mean around the -10C/14F range.

About the only thing that is going to be an issue is our internet connection. Which we just lost, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to publish this post! Oh, it’s back again!

Better publish this while I can! My apologies for any typos I’ve missed. 😀

The Re-Farmer