Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Start a Year

So far, 2011 has shown promise, in its small moments and quiet observations. Just the way we like it here at FF... Dawn photo, on the 2nd, finds the Sun in its notch, already a bit to the north of its Winter Solstice position.

Our New Year's storm was followed by an even more productive one the next weekend. So far, we are two for three on weekend snow. With temperatures plus-50F (above 10C) this past weekend (and a few minutes of actual rain, in January yet, yesterday morning), the entire foot (30 cm) of snow is now also gone. On January 6th, the calm between the storms is reflected in a pink morning.

Trips to the coop after dusk have, a time or two, been accompanied by the hooting of Great Horned Owls, and early one morning, we could hear two calling to each other in the neighborhood. It's that time of year already. One night, even a sighting, as an Owl flew low past the house.

The youngest girls, last year's pullets, have starting laying seriously, and we are already overwhelmed with luscious eggs, many of them in shades of green. In another month, the older hens will start again too; I'd better get my "customers" primed for a busy season.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is becoming a regular, often spooking from the chicken area each morning when I open the coop door, and sometimes not going far. To date, I've found Junco feathers by the gate, by the fence, and under her tree. Why she isn't eating more Starlings is still a mystery.

On a sad note, Bob the Quail has not shown his adorable little face, or that roundish shape lurking under his favorite shrub, since January 4th. I still hope for his return, but know as well that his visit was a special glimpse and not necessarily a long-term liaison. Cat Woman's friend and I will remember a special sighting of him on New Year's Day.

No evidence suggests that the resident sharpie was the cause of Bob's sudden disappearance. He made it through the first cold spell, but left before the second, so it wasn't the cold either.

For several days, a Red-tailed Hawk screamed from a power pole down the street. One morning, he took off as I was driving away, making a low pass just above my windshield. Too quick for the camera, that close look sticks only in memory.

One morning, I met Bee Lady and Flame at Red Rocks to check out the birds there. With several "unusuals" reported, including a Curve-billed Thrasher, we had high expectations. We saw, that day, only the Golden-crowned Sparrow, a new one for me. Neither the Harris's Sparrow nor the Rosy Finches put in an appearance. The thrasher has been reported back since, and Cat Woman got to see an entire flock of Rosy Finches there this weekend.

On the domestic front, we've had some serious cold, during which the woodstove served cozily, and the Chocolate Cat discovered the cryptic qualities of the new blanket "Grandma" brought him for Christmas.

That's January—and domestic tranquility!


Anonymous said...

Would love to see what eggs in shades of green look like.

And I had fun trying to puzzle out which bits were which on your chocolate cat.

I found your blog at the start of the year and have been enjoying the peaceful pictures particularly.

Sally said...


Thanks for following and, especially, for commenting! It helps keep me inspired... and I'll be glad to return the favor when you start your blog.

I'll see what I can do about the egg pictures.