I awoke about 4:30 am and succumbed to the fact that I will not be returning to sleep. Since I prefer to get up around 5:30, it was pointless anyway. That one extra hour would have been nice but I’ll not cling to it. I had about two hours to myself before sunrise then I went out and released the chickens from their coops, scattered some feed on the ground, and took the bees some food as well. It is a breezy and cool morning, but not cold.
It is going to be an unseasonably warm day today, forecast to be in the low 70s. That means the bees will be out looking for food. This warm winter is rather confusing for them. When they ascend from their homes looking to forage they will be faced with a dormant food forest. Last night we prepared a batch of food (sugar and water) for them. We have a feeder near the hives and this morning I filled it up. When it warms up past 50*F they will be all over the food. I noticed them yesterday in the compost pile buzzing around some cranberries I had thrown out.
The chickens have no idea (at least I believe they don’t) that an ice storm may be coming though the temps will be above freezing all days so it shouldn’t (hopefully) make too much of an impact. It will be cold, wet, and icy for at least a bit. For today, though, they will enjoy this Spring-like weather. I will let them out of the yards to forage in the woods if they’d like.
I split some logs yesterday to get us through the cold snap. Put some fresh straw in the coop. I’m doing the deep litter thing and needed to add another layer. And I’m thinking about the garden. It will be time to plant a cover crop soon and some early season veggies. If you haven’t yet, check out my last blog that contains links and downloadable tools for planning the garden. This will be a great indoor activity to enjoy while warming up next to the wood stove and sipping a hot herbal beverage while Mother Nature does her thing.