I woke up at sunrise this morning to witness the first snowfall of the season. At first I thought it was a heavy layer of frost, but when I stepped outside to release the chickens from their protective coop, I saw the flakes on everything.
This is a view to the east...
...and a view to the west toward the pond.
The water in the various drinking bowls outside had an inch of ice on top, so I had to break it out and refill with fresh. Like a real farmer!
Yesterday, I was working in my home office, and I saw something running through the woods - and it was too big to be chickens or Trixie. I stepped up to see better, and there I saw another buck. This one was probably a six-point, but it was hard to tell from the distance and through the trees. He was probably chasing a doe, but she was out of sight by that time.
Today I built the winter chicken house. It is made to be more air-tight than the summer dwelling, so hopefully it will keep the birds warm on cold nights. It even has a glass window which faces south to help warm the inside of the coop on sunny days. I'm hoping it will be predator-proof, too, since we will be leaving the birds on their own while we travel during the holidays. As I was building the coop, I heard the chickens making a squawking racket like I'd never heard before. I got to the side of the house where the noise was coming from just in time to see a big hawk come sailing out of the forest as Rooster Man and one of his girls ran/flew to safety. I found all 7 of our birds huddled close to the house with no sign of injury. They stayed in that spot for about an hour, and then finally wandered away back to normal. Now that the hawk knows what's here, I'll bet it will be coming back.
Today I learned: Using screws to build an improvised structure using spare scraps of wood is better than using nails. A screw can be un-screwed, but a nail can not be un-nailed. Once a nail is hammered all the way in, you're screwed.