Snow falling on witch hazel

We had a lovely few days of thaw this last week only to be plunged back into the Arctic depths on Friday. But those thaw days, so good for the mental health! It is amazing how warm 40F/ 4C feels after a string of days below zero/ -17C. The Dashwoods were perky and happy and full of chatter when I would visit them after I got home from work. They even dared to venture out of the run and onto the slushy snow. This made for much hilarity one evening in the quickly darkening dusk when I tried to get them all to go in the coop so I could close them up for the night.

Margaret and Elinor pretended like I didn’t exist and Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood kept coming to the run door, looking at me, then turning around and going back out. Eventually Marianne and Mrs. D would take turns coming into the run, hopping up onto the ladder like they were going to go into the coop, then hopping down and going back outside. I was laughing so hard at their antics it may have encouraged them.

I finally got the pair into the coop and had to go out and herd Margaret and Elinor into the run. By that time Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood were heading back down the ladder. I got them turned around and convinced Margaret to get into the coop. Then all three of them stood around the door worrying because Elinor was not in there too.

The Dashwoods don’t roost and every night it is a contest to see which two of the three can manage to shove her head underneath Elinor. So the three in the coop were pacing around distressed because there was no warm Elinor butt to burrow under. Elinor stood at the bottom of the ladder looking up toward the coop door and listening to the chatter. She looked at me and I could imagine she must have been thinking, oh please don’t make me! Reluctantly she made her way up the ladder. When she stepped inside the coop the tussle began. I lifted the ladder away and as I was closing the door she stuck her out looking for an escape. I gently pushed her back in and latched the door.

As I locked the outside run door I heard all sorts of chicken sounds ranging from distress to argument. Poor Elinor.

We got a little fresh snow on Thursday and some more today. It is so cold that it is the light, fluffy kind of snow, easy to shovel and squeaky under your boots. It looked pretty floating down all day today and the landscape is soft and clean. Now we just need some sun and a bright blue sky to turn it all dazzling.

I get the day off Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday. Reading, cycling on the trainer, some strength and core body workout sets, knitting, and if I am not too worn out, there is a book I reviewed recently for Library Journal on urban food forests that I want to tell you about.