The Story of the Woodpecker and Finch

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I know, I know…yes another bird picture from me.  I can’t help myself!

I was going to take a picture of the colorful woodpecker eating at the feeder and that’s where the story begins…….

The hungry woodpecker was happily enjoying his breakfast.  He didn’t have a care in the world even when he noticed me with a camera watching him in the window.   He was a relaxed woodpecker enjoying life on a cold snowy morning.

Along came the golden yellow, beautiful, small finch.  He eyed up the feeder and saw it held many treats for a hungry bird.  He did a fly by once and then again. Out of nowhere he appeared with wings spread and an angry look on his face.  He zeroed right in on the happy woodpecker and chased him away!

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And he ate and ate until his heart was content

The End!!  For today that is…..

Niagara Falls

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We live 15 minutes away from Niagara Falls.  Here are some pictures of what it looks like right now with the pictures from last spring.  The first set of pictures is the Falls.

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The second set is a picture of the rapids leading up to the Falls.

It’s an amazing sight to see so I wanted to share it.  You can find more pictures on our local news stations page

here:  Niagara Falls Frozen

Western New York Weekend

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This weekend has been frigid.  I am not a complainer and I still will not complain today in -2 F temperatures and getting the 4 wheeler stuck about 1/8 mile away from the house and having to walk back to tell the man of the house (who had told me not to try and get it back there which made it MUCH worse!).

The kids were upset school was closed on Friday as they missed their Valentines parties but that lasted about 45 seconds and they realized it was great to be home and headed out to snowmobile.

Saturday morning we were hit with a snowy blustery day.  In the morning you can see how much it snowed by the snow on the bird feeder and trees.

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This railing is waist high showing how much snow we have and drifting which made it a challenging walk to the barn for sure.

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The new hens adjusted fine to their move and already are earning their keep!

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In the afternoon the boy had a hockey game at a new outdoor hockey arena called Buffalo Riverworks .  It was snowing and blowing like crazy and the temperatures were around 17F but with the wind it was much colder.

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The new facility is fabulous and the boys had a blast even though they lost the game and we all bundled up, even Grandma, and stood out there to cheer them on.

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The drive home was quite the challenge but it was heavenly coming home to a roaring fire in the woodburner and a nice hot dinner of Turkey Chowder made with the leftover turkey and stock from Thanksgiving.

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And tonight we will end the evening with a mom and dad night heading out to dinner at 716

followed by checking out our new Buffalo Sabres player at the game!

Bird Wars…

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When you keep bird feeders around your yard, the birds let you know when they are empty.  This little cardinal was pecking at the window today letting me know it was time to refill.

As I went out to refill the feeder (it was very snowy and windy) he sat on a nearby tree branch watching.  He was very happy, as you can see by the picture, to swoop in and get his breakfast.

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Soon after, his breakfast was disturbed by a pesky bluebird who kept flying at him to chase him off.

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The cute little redhead would not give up and declared war on the bluebird.  He swooped at him over and over until the bluebird finally decided it was best to move on.

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And the bluebird and a few sparrows surrendered and decided to eat the seed from below the feeder that the feisty redhead dropped!

Ice Fog

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Ice Fog is minute ice crystals that form in the air in extremely cold temperatures.  This morning it was -9 F while driving to work and the beautiful ice fog was drifting down the river with the ice, moving along with the current.  This eventually will end up at Niagara Falls and tumble over the falls.

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This is very early in our area to see this as it’s usually around the first week of February this rolls in.  Regardless it is still such a beautiful sight to behold.

A fellow blogger, who has a wonderful blog hopping from Maine to Texas, recently posted pictures of the Sea Smoke in Maine.  Take the time to visit her page here:  Lulu’s Musings Sea Smoke.    Her pictures are stunning (and her blog is fun and full of beautiful pictures and ideas).  Sea smoke is a fog that is formed when very cold air moves over warmer water.

As the ice was moving this morning the ice fog was getting thicker and was so cool to watch drifting down current as it went.

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Mother Nature’s beauty at her best on a very cold morning with the beautiful sun highlighting every detail.

Isn’t it winter???

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This is our ice rink behind our horse pastures.  This rink should be frozen and we should be skating on it!!  I mean it is December in Buffalo, NY right????

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Apparently Mother Nature has other plans this year or is feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

This is what the ice rink should look like

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Maybe this will serve as a boost to Mother Nature to get her butt in gear!!!!  We are ready for winter 🙂

Little Red Farmhouse

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This is our home. I took this picture last evening.  I love our house in the snow!!

Some people long for the big, modern, majestic homes, but I am not one of them.  I can drive through a modern neighborhood and not notice a single thing about a house.  I feel nothing.  Put me on a country road with 100+ year old homes and I can tell you the character I feel from each house.  These houses have a history, they are a part of a different time; a time I wish to have known.

We have kept the cedar shake shingles on our home as true to the country red it was when it was first painted.  I could never picture any other color on this house.  The red is a statement to me boasting of the farming homestead it was created for so long ago. (You can see pictures of updates to our home here:  Little Red House)

We planted a burm of blue spruce trees in front of our property.  When they are snow covered they make the house even more beautiful!  It’s like a Christmas card scene to me.

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Here are some of the other pictures I took Thursday before the snow came and again last night while we were getting a nice dusting of snow.

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We place 6 fake Christmas trees throughout the property and enjoy looking out at night at the sparkling lights in the open.  Thursday was the day to set them up as the ground was not frozen and the temperatures were moderate.  The night picture is 4 of the trees in the back.

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And last night the snow came and the trees were beautifully lit.

We had a nice amount of snow falling throughout the day and night yesterday.  After barn chores were done, I decided to pay a visit to the cute little snow bunnies all cozy in their house for the night.

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This is our home.

Last Harvest of 2014

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Yesterday was the official closing of our 2014 vegetable garden.  This is the latest that I can ever remember harvesting.  We have had some cold days here and there and a few inches of snow on and off but the cold weather vegetables (brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli), have continued to grow and ripen.  We are due for some snow and the sun is not making many appearances so I finally gave in and pulled the last of the “goods”.

I had 6 brussel sprout plants full of baby size brussel sprouts which is exactly how we like them!  The greens have all been washed and are stored to feed the bunnies, goats and chickens over the next few weeks.

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The last broccoli bunch is blanched and frozen and the cabbage is stored with the potatoes in the back door of the cellar to keep it cold and fresh.

It seems like just yesterday I was sharing with you how we prepared the garden this spring…Preparing the Gardens

Heating with Wood

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The woodpile is now stored and ready for winter.  Growing up with a wood stove, to me there is no better warmth.  I love the heat of the stove, the glow in a dim lit room of the flames dancing all around, and the smell.  I can relax just thinking about it!

Sadly, the cost of wood has now reached the point that the money spent is about the same as using gas to heat your house.  With the cost of gas prices (think chainsaws, 4 wheelers to tow the cut wood, tractors to haul down the trees and a truck to deliver) the days of saving money heating with wood are disappearing.

We live on 30 acres of land full of trees and dead wood.  Our schedules with work and life do not allow for all the homesteading dreams I have in my head and lumbering our own wood just does not fit into the schedule for a full winters heat.  We do enough for our bonfires and fires outdoors in the burn barrel at our ice skating rink and that takes a good amount of time.  So we have to purchase our wood.  I am not sure this will be an option much longer for us with the high price of split wood in our area now.

We burn 13-16 cord of wood from October through March.  Some months our gas bills are less than $50 because we do not use the furnace as much as possible.  I am hoping next year prices will remain the same but I’m not banking on it.

My kids have never known a winter without a woodburner heating the house.  They run to it in the morning and warm their clothes by it before putting them on for school.  They stack wood on the porch so we can “kick it up” when they want it warmer.  They spend the time in the house in the winter in shorts and t-shirts and God forbid they have to put on a pair of socks!!

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I am already picturing the stove all stocked up, the smell outside of the wood, and the glowing games of Yahtzee on a snowy night!

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