Thursday, January 20, 2011

January update

It's 43 degrees and cloudy, but with the 15-20 mph gusts, wind chill brings it down to the low 30's. Brrrrrrrr   We can't complain too much, considering the storms the rest of the county has suffered with. Still, we are chalking this up as pretty much a lost month. Between the frigid weather keeping us indoors more than we would like and a bout of nasty head colds we've done few of the "to do" list items.

Birdwatching was about as much activity as we could muster during the worst of the virus. The cardinals have been so puffed up due to the cold that they look twice their size, and we have apparently been adopted by a flock of pyrrhuluxia. They look like a cardinal, but are primarily gray with a red topknot. They are a cousin of cardinals, and seem to have similar habits. They love our overgrown, brushy areas of the yard (good excuse not to clear them out!), and in the afternoon light the gray trees that have shed their leaves for the winter provide a perfect showcase for the bright red cardinals and the red splashed pyrrhuluxia. Yes, the name is a mouthful.... some people just call them "gray cardinals". I finally got the large capacity squirrel-proof feeder repaired and mounted a couple of days ago. When I came into the house I said to Steve "let's see how long it takes for the birds to start using it", because they are always cautious about new feeders. A few minutes later he pointed out the window, the feeder was already covered with birds! Whether they are familiar with that type of feeder from a neighbor's yard or just that hungry I don't know, but as the feeder holds 3 pounds of seed it does save me some time and effort having to refill when it's cold and they are feeding heavily.

Sometimes necessity will get you up and moving when you don't feel like it - an exploratory visit to the underside of the house, just to look things over and plan a future project, revealed a leak we didn't know about, and some thoroughly saturated insulation. Steve's been keeping busy with that, and as we have a low of 20 expected tonight he had to move fast! 

Hopefully the weather will stabilize after this cold front passes and we can get started on the new deck and some other outdoor projects. We miss being on the road, but I have to admit that in this cold weather we'd probably begin to get cabin fever if we were in the RV.  There doesn't seem to be a state in the country that has escaped the cold this winter, so there's no way to get away from it. It's a good time to plan our next trip however and the dining table is covered with maps as we do just that!