We’re finally having a decent winter around here, complete with plenty of snow and cold…REALLY cold weather. It’s been a few years since we had a decent winter. I’ve been making food for the birds this year and they are loving it, we now have quite a large gathering who spend their days in our trees. Mostly we’ve got tits (ok, I know this is going to really increase my traffic but I’m not the one who named them!)
Tits, you know tits like this…
That one is known as a Great Tit, we have tons of these. We also see some of the smaller Blue Tits although not as many. We get a few European Robins which look like this…
Photo by Jens B. Bruun
These are much smaller and more delicate than the North American robin. We’ve got a few pairs of black birds which is why Peer built the nifty bird feeder shown above, they’re too big to eat from the hanging bags of food, but they haven’t gotten the hang of this new bird house yet and still insist on eating the crumbs that the little birds drop on the ground. I worry that a cat will get them…probably my cat…she’s way too good at hunting.
We also get a few wrens…These are super cute, but we don’t get very many at all.
photo by Bill Baston
We even have a Great Spotted Woodpecker who has started hanging out in our elderberry tree. These are pretty rare so it is nice to see him.
Bird Feed Recipe
To make the food, I melt 500gm plant fat, mix in 500gm rolled oats, a cup or so sunflower seeds, some millet mix it up good and then let it all soak in the fat. Stir occasionally as it re-hardens. Then I scoop it into recycled net bags, the kind that onions and lemons come in, tie closed with a long piece of string and hang them from tree branches. The little birds can eat from these but not the larger birds. The birds love this stuff and I end up making at least 2 batches a week.
What else am I up too? Well, I’m a bit early I guess, but I’ve started my spring cleaning. Unfortunately, being the Queen of Clutter that I am…this is long overdue and has turned into a major undertaking. But it’s got to be done, our walls are in need of a fresh coat of paint which we’ll be doing sometime in February so first we need to be able to get to the walls! I think I’ve got another 2 weeks of cleaning and de-cluttering before I’m done.
When I’m not cleaning I’m doing alot of knitting and spinning either that or cooking. Peer has been cleaning and melting down wax from the old hive we replaced last summer with a Warre hive. Anyway I have lots to write about and lots of pictures to show, I’ll try to get caught up during this week.
First of all, I finished my Anemoi mittens…
I love these mittens, the only problem is that the thumb is a wee bit snug, but they are warm and I love the pattern.
I’ve got a blanket, a scarf and a pair of socks on the needles too at the moment but none are anywhere near to being finished. Oops, I just found a pattern for a matching hat to go with my Anemoi mittens. Guess what I’ll be casting on this evening :O)
I got the chance to spin hand-dyed roving for the very first time last week! Yes, it was very exciting! I normally spin plain old white wool, which is still tons of fun, but spinning in color, wow!… it’s so totally mesmerizing. Anyone who knows me and has seen my glass art, knows that these are so MY colors. Learning to dye my own handspun yarn is right at the top of my things to do list.
Anyway, I didn’t dye this particular wool myself, I got this from Gale’s Art Fibers on Etsy. She makes gorgeous roving. I made a chunky weight yarn out of it and since I didn’t have very much, I needed a small project so and ended up knitting it into another pair of mittens :O)
The colors are actually alot more intense, every time I photograph these mittens they look washed out. Anyway, they’re cute, warm and comfy.
So, that’s it for today, other topics I’d like to cover this week include: making tofu, cleaning and preparing wax from the hives and maybe a recipe or two if I have the time.
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