This morning’s chores were fairly typical: Shovel the 2″ of snow, then go back inside and collect last night’s food scraps and some leftovers from the fridge. Find what, in all those leftovers, would be palatable to the chickens, and then go into the fridge and find some napa cabbage and chard that is past its prime. I chop this up, put it in a bowl, add the other chicken stuff, then take it all outside, along with the stuff for the compost heap.
The chickens, despite my path-making a week ago, still hate walking on the snow, but I still throw the door wide open and try to coax them outside by placing the food bowl about two feet from the door. I figure they could use the light, what little there is on such a gray day. I collect the eggs, put them in my pocket, and head to the garden shed. I grab a garden fork and then head to the compost heaps.
The one thing I do love about snow is that I can see who visits the farm. Today, at the heap, I found some small footprints: big for a housecat, small for a dog. I look closer and I see that there are obvious toenails, so it is a canis not a felix. A fox, I think: the coyotes’ feet are bigger. I look at the heap. Despite all the snow this winter, the newer heap is still pretty warm, so it looks like a volcano: the top is clear. I dig with the fork into the side of the heap and pile in the takings from the kitchen. In go some citrus peels, some old (and too hot) chili, a bit of pasta (the chookies got the rest of it) and the usual vegetable detritus of onions, garlic, celery, carrot leavings. I cover it back up, but first I reach into the older, wetter heap with the fork and scoop out a bit of it to put atop the leavings.
I trace the fox’s steps and see it has made its way to the shed, the icehouse and then into my car’s garage. I see the steps leave again, and head down the drive and (probably) back into the forest across the road. I look at the birdfeeders: they still have stuff in them, and they’ve also got a lot of visitors. I look around, take a big breath, and then head back inside to my second cup of coffee and review my work for the day. Today, it’s an addition to a colonial house in the Hudson River valley, about an hour and a half from NYC. It’s an easy job. I’ll finish the kitchen elevations today and then I will be on to the window schedule. (Yes, I DO do windows.) I sip my coffee and then make this entry into the blog.
And then I remember I need to retrieve the eggs from my coat pocket!