Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Wildlife Refuge

We had our first frost last night, so we fired up the pellet stove. It was nice to wake up in a house that wasn't chilly.  Those in-between days when it is pretty cold at night but hit mid-sixties in the day are challenging, too warm for the pellet stove and too cold to be comfortable.

I did my final harvest of warm season veggies last night in anticipation of the frost.
There are enough peppers to make a new batch of (mostly) jalapeno pepper jelly. With my canning frenzy, I have come to the realization that I need more shelves in my pantry, yet another project to conquer.  The chill has also reminded me that I haven't found the right fabric for curtains in the kitchen/dining area.  I've been carrying around my yardage calculations for a few weeks  since I'm trying to pair it with another errand into the areas. The fabric shops seem to claim a certain radius around themselves, I can drive west 45 minutes to one (Hancock), northeast about 55 minutes to another (Hobby Lobby) and due south for 55 minutes to another (Jo Ann).  Many of the fabric sellers on-line do not seem the have the yardage required to cover four 62 inch long windows, which comes to 10-12 yards.  Gotta drive!

I'm looking out those exposed windows to the bird feeder, which I just filled for the first time this season about two days ago.  The chickens love whatever the squirrels spill, but the wild birds have not yet discovered it. I hope we have the variety that we had in the past year the usual chickadees, robins, sparrows, blue jays, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, juncos, wrens, then there are (spring and summer) bluebirds (they like the posts we put in for the blackberries), blue gray gnat catchers (had to look them up, again spring/summer), Baltimore orioles, flickers, red bellied woodpeckers, pileated  woodpeckers, mockingbirds, catbirds, brown thrashers, and when a deer gets hit on the road (they have a crossing nearby) the black and turkey vultures (nasty, stinky things), oh yeah, wild turkeys (mom and five babies).  Then, of course, we have mammals deer, bunnies, a big possum, saw a fox once, a bazillion moles that make the lawn squishy. The moles are the reason some of the hawks (red tailed and red shouldered) come--they sit on the "lawn" and wait--then pounce on a mole when it comes up).  Nasty little moles ate the roots of my parsley!  Go Hawks!

The other day in the back yard we had two deer, a  crow and a bunny all just sitting on the lawn near each other, my husband said that it looked like it was an idyllic scene straight out of an old Disney movie and that we should hear perky music in the background.  Much of the land around us platted for development and now the recession is easing the 500K houses are going in, so our wildlife refuge of a backyard will probably be short lived.

Time to fill the feeder, I hope the squirrels will save a little for the birds today.

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