a taste of winter

chickens perched over snowThe chickens weren’t quite sure what to make of all the snow a few days ago. Here you see them perched on their step, hesitating to jump off.

I stood and watched them for a bit, wondering if I would need to give them a gentle nudge. They really did stay up there for a good amount of time. I watched, and then I poured some feed into their feeder. Even then, they stayed. Usually the sound of food makes them come running – they are teenage boys after all – but this time they were still not sure what they would be getting themselves into if they left the safety of their perch.

Eventually, one jumped. When he turned out ok, the others followed.chickens eating

And here you can see them fighting over the food as usual. No problem! They’re all doing really well. I’m surprised, actually, because my laying hens from last winter had colds by now. Well, I think it was one that usually was more sneezy than the others, but still. I haven’t heard a single sneeze from these ones yet!

And they’re maturing so nicely. The black in their tails and around their necks is really starting to come out. I even heard a few honks from a couple of them, which is the noise they make before they are actually old enough to crow. They definitely don’t make the little baby cheepy noises anymore. Sniff sniff.

winter pepperAnd here’s one more winter photo for you on this rainy day: a bell pepper plant, very much dead. You can see I haven’t done any tilling yet. I might pull out a few of the larger plants, so they don’t interfere too much with snowman building, but everything else will stay unless we get some crazy mild weather and the time to do something about it.

It doesn’t hurt to leave things. If you haven’t yet ‘cleaned up the garden’, don’t worry about it. By the time winter is through with your garden, the cleanup is much easier. I like to leave things for spring when they’re easier to pull out or hoe or rake. Plus, at that point I have way more energy because I’m excited about the new season AND the days are getting longer and longer! Many more daylight hours to get things done, and new life is all around. I can hardly wait.

A few more weeks of decreasing light, though. We can do it!