Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What isn't on the roof anymore

We had two major snowstorms last week, one within a couple of days of the other.  The accumulations were significant, and we were in the bands of heaviest snow in the province during the second storm.  All of this resulted in some very significant accumulation of snow on the steel roof of our house.  Then, we had a couple of days where the temperature actually went above freezing.  When that happens, the steel roof warms up, and the snow starts to melt on the bottom.  That, dear readers, is a recipe for a roof avalanche!  The snow that was on the roof, is now not on the roof.

Overnight, we heard some thunderous noises as huge chunks of snow began to slide off the roof.  In the morning, our usual peaceful woodland view out the living room window had become this:

A little while later, it was like this, as more chunks fell:

The next morning, it was like this, and you can see where a large chunk came to rest against the glass.  I was quite worried about glass breaking, but we seem to have escaped that problem for now.

Likewise, the dining room window went from this... this!  And now we can scarcely see anything out that window except for snow!  As you can imagine, this will take many weeks to melt completely, depending on the type of spring we have.  I imagine it will be at least the end of April, if not well into May before we see the end of this.

Fortunately, the front of our house has little metal ridges that prevent the abrupt drop of snow, so the front didn't have this phenomenon.  The snow has melted on the front, and the water goes into the gutters and is carried away.  We don't have to worry when we walk out the front door, about a huge lump of snow falling on our heads.  When I carry hay to the sheep by going out the back door, I do need to be more careful.  

Unfortunately, there has been some significant damage to the screened-in porch.  It seemed not too bad at the start...

...but by the end, there was some major bowing of the supports on the screening on the front side, and it will need to be repaired in the spring when this mess melts.

Here you can really see where the screen and its framing has been pushed in.

Every winter is different here - some have great heaps of snow and others have limited snow but are extremely cold.  This year has been a mix - some extreme cold, but more recently, extreme snow.  We are not sure how to prevent a recurrence of this problem in another snowy year.

These chunks of snow are extremely large and awkwardly shaped, and difficult to break even with a metal shovel.  Marc has tried, without much success, to move some of the chunks pressing on the screening supports.  This isn't something you can just push out of the way. It's huge, it's heavy, and it's potentially dangerous.

This winter has a been a learning experience in our new home, and we'll have to see what we can do to improve the snow drop from the roof for future years, or at least re-direct it a bit.  

Linking with All Seasons.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bunday Blog Business

It's me, Pippin, back for the most important day of the week, of course.  Bunday.  This has been a busy week around the house.  Sometimes the hoomin beans don't take time to stop and smell the compost.  This week, the lady hoomin bean went shopping and she brought home some most excellent celery and kale.  Of course, it is my job to check the shopping bags to ensure that there is nothing left in there.

We wouldn't want to waste anything.

After my shopping bag audit, naturally I must do a follow-up audit in the kitchen to make sure everything has been put away properly.

Hmmm....yes, I think I may have to do a closer inspection of those dried cherries.

All that auditing and inspecting can be exhausting, so then I go for a good rest.  Resting allows me to meditate upon my grand plans of building a vegetable farm in the home office.  I still have some work to do on the technology that will make the farm invisible to the hoomin beans.  They do not think a vegetable farm is an appropriate thing to have in their home office.  Such small brains...

Until next Bunday, keep your ears clean!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday's Hunt v 3.07

I have been tremendously busy this week - feeling rather unable to keep up with everything at the moment.  Work is extremely busy, which it is sometimes, and I appreciate that, but it doesn't leave much time for photography and fun!

Our prompts today from Eden Hills are:  Starts with G, Week's Favourite, and Pink.

Starts with G
Goodness gracious, we've had a lot of snow!  Great, gleaming, glistening, gargantuan piles of it! Mostly accompanied by gloomy, glowering skies.  I'm getting very tired of it.  So is poor Marc, who is doing the snow shoveling because my arm is very painful these days due to ulnar nerve problems. Here are some images of our ghastly weather.  We think we might need a larger snowblower for next year, if we can fit it into the budget.  Or we might give up and sleep from January through March!

The route to the sheep and goat area was not easily passable when I opened the door earlier this week.  We've since had another couple of feet of snow, so you can just imagine how it looks now.  Carrying a hay bale through this from the garage to the fenced area is not an easy job.  The snow was at my hips in some places, and I am 5'10", so that is a very difficult path to navigate.

Here, just for fun, is a "find the GOAT" picture!

The snow has already covered the bottom of the bird feeder and the new tray feeder that Marc made me is almost covered.  Can you catch a glimpse of a little face peeking out in this picture?  Maybe the next picture will give you a hint.

Week's Favourite
I managed to capture this image of the squirrel taking seeds from the bird feeder.  I love the way he's hanging on, but looking in my direction.  You can see snowflakes on his face but he still looks like he's smiling.  Now you can go back to the last picture and see his little nose peeking up just at the bottom of the tube feeder, if you missed him the first time.

Pink is one of my favourite colours in the flower garden.  We are a long way from gardening season, so a pink cat tongue will have to fit the need for today!  Mitten the cat and Pippin the rabbit share this water bowl on the window sill, but they don't drink at the same time.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to get a picture of rabbit tongue.  Maybe another time!

p.s.  If you didn't find the goat earlier, here's a hint.

If you're still really stuck on the goat, let's zoom in a bit...yep....that's Lucky Nickel peeking through the snowy trees.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bunday Blog Business

I'm back for another edition of Bunday Blog Business.  Today we started out with a nice, sunny Bunday morning.  The hoomin bean says that tonight, it will not be nice or sunny.  Well, that's kind of is never sunny at night.  Sometimes she states the obvious like that, but you have to just let it go.  Hoomin beans are a little dense sometimes, but they provide the food, so just be patient.

Anyway, she said that there is a big snowstorm coming with another 25 to 30 centimetres of snow. And then another one later this week.  Well, I am an indoor bun, so the weather is irrelevant to me. The hoomin bean says in the spring, I can go out on the screened-in porch with her.  That will be fun. Maybe I can teach her more about the weather.

So today, we are going to talk about sticks.  The hoomin bean says it is important to stick with the program.  We have a multiple stick program here.  It's good to have a variety of sticks in your program.

Sometimes, I feign indifference about the sticks.

Mitten is pretending to feign indifference about the stick, but that is because he knows it is my stick and I am a big scary bun and I will bonk him on the head if he tries to take my stick.  The pillow llama has not, so far, shown any interest in the stick.  He has a kind of flat personality, so I don't expect him to take any interest in the stick anytime soon.

Having a stick program is very good for your teeth.  Keep some floss handy if you don't like splinters between your teeth though.

Sticks are also good for exercise.  You can do special lifting with a stick.  In the Olympic Games, they call this the "clean and jerk" lift.  It is not nice to call anybody a jerk.  I don't know why they call it that.  I call it the "clean and stick" lift instead.  You should practice it.

If you really need it, you can get a hand with your sticks.  I don't need a hand - I'm just showing you this for technique purposes, in case you do need a hand.

The hoomin bean has sticks in her program and she puts string on them.  She gets very cross when I use her sticks.  I would suggest that if you are considering incorporating hoomin bean sticks into your program, avoid the ones with string on them.  You can pretend not to be interested, but be careful with that approach.  The hoomin beans are very possessive with their sticks, and their string.

Well, I expect you know enough about sticks now that you can start your own program.  Keep sticking to it, and keep your ears clean.  See you next Bunday.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday's Hunt, v 3.06

Friday is upon us once again, and our prompts from Eden Hills are, Starts with F, Week's Favourite, and Heart.

Starts with F
I love to feed the birds in winter!  I have several tube feeders, but not all birds like to feed at those. I had some evening grosbeaks come to visit and they had trouble standing on the small perches on my tube feeders.  I also have a suet feeder, pictured below, which is great for some species including the woodpeckers and nuthatches, and even the black-capped chickadees use it sometimes.

Marc made me a new feeder recently!  I asked him if he could make me a tray feeder for some of the other birds who don't like the tube feeders.  He cleverly made it from some scrap wood that was part of the packaging of our dishwasher that we installed when we moved in. The bottom is a scrap piece of window screen.

So far, it is mostly in use by the squirrels (no surprise there!)

I haven't seen the grosbeaks again (yet) but I am hopeful they will come back.  I hope it will also attract other species throughout the year.  It hangs from the post where the bird bath is installed.

Week's Favourite
Marc was having some one-on-one time with Pippin today, and Pippin climbed into his zippered sweatshirt.  I love this picture I took of Pippin peeking out and Marc looking down at him.  They make a cute pair!

We had a big snowfall last night, and we're expecting more in the coming few days.  My arm has been giving me trouble lately - I have ulnar nerve issues.  I'm also extremely busy with work contracts.  I am so grateful to Marc for snow-blowing our driveway, cleaning off the cars, and also cleaning off the sheep and goat hoop-hut.  My arm was not up to helping today.  For that, and many other reasons, I love him with all my HEART!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bunday Blog Business

Pippin here!  I am the home auditor and inspector and in general, I organize everything that happens here.  Today is Bunday.  Naturally, that makes it my most important day of the week.  Sometimes the hoomin (who usually writes this blog) says it wrong - she makes it sound like Sunday.  She probably has something stuck in her teeth.  Everybody knows it is Bunday.

On Bundays, I conduct important business.  Naturally, because I am very important here, I have a lot of business to conduct. All of it is important business, but Bundays are for the most important business of all.  It is the day that I share my wisdom with you.  You do not even have to pay for my wisdom.  If you need wisdom on a certain topic, you can put your paw up and ask a question, and I might help you in a future Bunday Blog Business post.

Today, we consider the age-old the hay box half full or half empty?  Naturally, you should conduct a full audit of your hay box on a regular basis.  Note my correct technique.
However, my dear buns (and hoomin beans, if you have hay boxes)...let me tell you, this is the wrong question.  If there is hay in the box, regardless of how much, it is there to be eaten.

Sometimes, you may find yourself being under the hay.

Sometimes, the hay might follow you out of the box.
Do not be alarmed.  This is a snack for later.  It is good to have your hay liberally spread around, for emergencies and other times when you just need a good piece of hay.

Here are some better questions:

  • If a hay bale has 89,752 pieces of hay in it, and the wind is blowing at 33 kilometres an hour, and the temperature is just above freezing, what colour is the sky?
  • If I eat hay, and make good poop, and then the poop fertilizes more hay, will the new hay be even better than the original hay that I ate?

These are things to contemplate while you are in your hay box (but not while you are conducting your audit, because then you need to be properly focused on the task at paw.)

Until next time, stay wise, and keep your ears clean.
This blog post is authorized under section 17.2(b), paragraph 5, of the House Rabbit Duties Manual. I, Pippin, approve of this post.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday's Hunt v 3.05

Goodness me, where do the days go?  It's time for Friday's Hunt, already!  Teresa at Eden Hills has given us the prompts for this week, and they are:  Starts with E, Week's Favourite, and Personal.

Starts with E:  EARS!
We have quite a few pets, and all of them have Ears!  Nature has accommodated each animal by providing them with ears that suit their needs.

Mitten the cat has lovely triangle-shaped ears that are very sensitive to tiny sounds.  He's a bit of a born hunter, although not inside our house.  You can see the fine hairs that sweep across the inside of his ear, preventing dust and debris from entering the ear.  Unfortunately, I think Mitten is giving me the evil eye in this picture, since he does not look impressed at my efforts in ear photography.

Pippin's ears are wonderfully large and covered in his soft fur.  Rabbits need big ears because they are very low down on the "prey" totem pole, and they need every advantage they can get to escape their predators.  Those ears are specially designed to hear the slightest sound, and they swivel independently to let him hear what's going on in different directions.  He has an old injury that makes a little indentation on the edge of his right ear.  That happened to him long before he came to us from the SPCA, so we don't know what caused it.

Toffee and Rolo, on the other hand, have ears that are almost hidden under their fur.  Rolo has black ears, and Toffee has pink ears.  Toffee's ears also waggle when he makes his characteristics guinea pig whistling noises.  It's quite amusing, but I have yet to capture it on video.  Their ears are also very sensitive to sounds because they seem to differentiate between Marc's footsteps and mine, since they know I'm the one who usually brings the morning treats from the refrigerator.  They squeak a lot when I come downstairs in the morning.

Week's Favourite
I hang a formed, bird seed "bell" from under my suet feeder.  The birds enjoy it, and sometimes the squirrels do as well.  This week, one of the squirrels nibbled away at the bell form until the bottom fell off.

 It was on the ground under the feeder.  I happened to be watching when he (or she) tried to carry away the large bottom portion, and I took a video, so this week's favourite is a video!

He eventually took it under some wood, where I could no longer see it.  I think he's a very lucky squirrel!

I wasn't sure what to do for "personal" this week.  If it's personal, it's probably something I don't want to share on my blog!  In the end, I decided to share my personal workspace.  This is the place I write my blogs, but also the place I spend most of the hours of my day - it's where I work, it's where I play, and where I eat most of my meals.

As you can see, I have two large monitors and a large microphone, since I often do dictation instead of typing (to save my wrists, since I am prone to ulnar nerve problems in my left arm).  I also have an ergonomic keyboard for that reason.  You'll also see, if you look closely, my magnifier glasses for tiny print, my highlighters (very important for highlighting things on technical drawings), the phone, a knitting daily calendar, the rabbit wall calendar, and a lovely wooden turned container under my monitor, where I keep spare change.  Of know my Dad made it!

I keep this little quote stuck to my current file bin, since I am very fond of the sentiment.

This is my view from my desk - I can see my feeders and bird bath outside.  You can also see my knitting couch where I retire for some relaxation after a long day of work!  The knitting bags are hung with different projects on the door knob to the closet in the corner - the closet isn't really a closet - it's just where the Selkirk pipe from the wood stove goes up.  If the room is cold, I open the closet door to let more of the heat disperse into the room.

The little bookshelf beside my desk has all my field guides - birds, flowers, mushrooms, trees, insects...I'm a nature kind of gal!  The mammals guide is on my desk under the binoculars on the corner (which you can see in the picture above).  I was using it this week.

My screen saver is a constant slide show of pictures I like.  Here you can also see, if you look on the far left, that I have some items on top of my computer tower.  In the picture below, you can just see the lathe-turned pear that my father made me from cocobolo wood.  There's a little stoneware sheep, and also a lovely sheep card from my mother.  So, even though it is my workspace, it's very personal - full of sheep, bunnies, yarn-related items, and other personal touches.  You might wonder why I have those odd blocks of wood between the top of the desk and the drawers/cupboard underneath. The truth is, I've had this desk since I was about 12 years old, and I needed it to be taller for ergonomic reasons.  Marc made the risers that lift the desktop height.  Maybe someday I'll get a new desk, but until then, this is my space!