January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2009 - January 3rd, 2009
I can think of no better way to start off the year than taking a trip to the Ridge. So that is just what we did. We got there in the afternoon and it was a beautiful day. After setting up our 5-star suet feeder and refilling our seed feeder, a chickadee came to check it out and then tore off into the woods telling all his friends that there was food again, after grabbing a seed first of course! Even though there had been rain a couple of weeks before, there was still a substantial amount of snow. It wasn't all fluffy stuff either, but hard-packed with an crusty layer on top. Great for building forts! If we knew how to build an igloo we would have built one serious igloo. Since we spend most of our time outside, I got to work shovelling out an area around the firepit so we could have space for our chairs. Jared split a bunch of wood from the cave and we were ready to go. That night we had a sweet fire to keep us warm outside, but unfortunately we didn't have fuel for one of our heaters in the cabin. We had to spend the night huddled under the blankets to keep warm. You know it's bad when you can see your breath!

The next day started out with the sun shining into our cabin. It was so cold outside, but once we got our layers of clothing on and began moving around it turned into a great day. Jared decided to split all the logs in the cave. He grabbed our sled, loaded it up with wood and then pushed it down the hill towards the spot where he set up our wood holder. Even though he said it was work related, he did take quite a few turns riding the sled down the hill. I think he was having too much fun! Later in the morning, we decided to go to the back of the property to see if we had a skating rink on the pond. Sure enough, under a 2" layer of fluffy snow there was ice. We skated in our boots and had a tiny fire and hung out for a while enjoying the day. That afternoon, the Browntown crew showed up and we hung out with them for a bit. They let us borrow one of their propane heaters, so we were able to heat up our cabin pretty good. No more shivering under the blankets! It snowed for a bit at night but we ended a perfect day with stars and a pretty bonfire.

The next day we planned on leaving, so we packed up our stuff and hung out. Jared finished chopping up all the wood, and I spent most of my time watching the birds. Since Jared had so much fun the other day with the sled, I decided to make a kick-ass toboggan run for him to go down. I picked a perfect spot going down into the valley on the next property, with turns and even a jump off a fallen log. Jared mastered it, and called it "extreme sledding". I went down a couple times, crashed into some trees and laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. It was the most fun I've had in a really long time. Other than 3 white-breasted nuthatches, 1 red-breasted nuthatch, about 10 chickadees, a female red squirrel (we called her Blinky), and a male downy woodpecker, we didn't see any wildlife. I was really happy to see the woodpecker visit our seed feeder and then attempt to peck at the suet. We have never seen woodpeckers at our feeders before. I have to say that this was the most fun I think I've ever had at our property, but I can't wait for spring!