Warp Speed to Winter

winter-2As I sit here listening to the wind chimes announcing a cold front moving in, I have to chuckle at our crazy Texas weather. Today we had a high in the upper 70’s. It was absolutely beautiful and it was a shame I had to work.

After work I headed to Tractor Supply to get a dog house for Spencer and some more chicken feed. From the time I was there to the time I got home was maybe 45 minutes. During that time the temps dropped 10 degrees. A cold front was starting to move in.

As much as I love Texas, the weather here can be a bit bi-polar. From today’s balmy weather we are headed straight into the depths of winter over night at warp speed. I am expecting to wake up to temperatures in the 20’s. Burrr…..

For the most part I am ready for the cold. A few weeks ago, we did have some near freezing temperatures during the night, and I moved the tender plants in before it hit. The weather got nice again and I thought about putting them back out. But decided it was the season to get cold snaps and I just need to live with them inside until spring. I hate coming home late in the night and trying to get all the plants in. I already have to get the dog in and fed and all the chickens locked up in their coops. The feral cats have come to expect dinner and so they need fed as well. So having to spend another hour dragging plants in and finding a place for them is just too much rushing around before bed.

img_7172The new coop I got winterized enough to get me through the cold snap and the rest of winter. I used a piece of the scrap plywood and cut out the triangles to cover the wire to the sides of the door. Right now the are just inserted into the opening.. I need to either hinge them or find a way to secure them in place in the future. I want to have a hinged cover for the top area above the door, but have not had time to get that done, so we stapled a feed bag at the top to cut down on drafts and enclose the coop.

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The other side of the coop, opening into the run, just got the feed bag treatment. The top is still open under the peak so there should still be good ventilation in the coop. The chooks are still in the mosh pit style of sleeping, on the floor bunched together, so they should stay warm.

The main coop we just closed up the end and the door and that should keep the wind out. The bigguns will pack up next to each other on the roost to stay warm. It never got cold enough here last winter to cause this group any problems. I added another tarp to the Legbars and enclosed that coop a bit more. It is still open some and was not a coop I wanted chickens over the winter. But we are having to make do until I get something else built for them.

The garden has not had much going on in a while. I got the garlic planted and need to look and see if it is coming up yet. I did put out some lettuce seeds and peas that are sprouting as well as some daffodils for next spring. I want to get some onion seeds started as well as some carrots as they grew though the winter last year. I really enjoyed my carrots this spring so plan on planting a bit more this year.

wp-1482030143658.pngThough we are going to be a bit nippy, for Texas, over my weekend of Sunday and Monday, we look to have a warming trend as we head towards Christmas. This cold snap will be good weather to get the bushes out front trimmed and more of t he wood chips moved. I also need to pull up what remains of the tomatoes and get the gutter garden tidied up and ready for winter. Somehow these thing chores do not feel like work when the temps are cold.

Though Mother Nature in Texas is moody and changes her mind every other day at times, I will take her mood swings any day over the winter wrath that gets thrown at the north. As I look at the snow and winter storms hitting the Northern states right now, I’m glad I only have to deal with two days of cold and we will be back to nicer weather soon. The north will probably still be digging out of the snow.

As the tempo of the wind chimes picks up and the temperature drops, I will hunker down as winter rolls in by grabbing a cup of hot chocolate and putting a movie on. Happy winter everyone..

 

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