Our instructions on how to cook with a wood stove continues to be one of the most visited pages on our website. With this in mind, we've added a main wood stove page, which brings together all the information we've previously had about our wood stove into one place, and have added more key information if you're thinking of getting your own:
All this information is here:
Our Wood Stove
The Hawk in the Bird Condo
Even in a tiny yard, you can get some big wildlife. Theresa had just gotten up from the computer to warm her hands at the woodstove when she saw a flash outside the bay window that her brain interpreted as a hawk chasing a small bird. She looked out the back door in case she could actually see what was going on, and found a hawk perched on our brush pile.
We estimate there were between 50 and 100 song birds in the pile at the time. The hawk was obviously looking for dinner, but was too big to make it further into the pile to get at his prey. After a few minutes, four or five birds took off and the hawk was after them in a flash, and was quickly out of our sight. A couple more minutes went by and the smaller birds left the brush pile in two waves, dozens of them rising up together. Others stayed put.
It makes you wonder- were the first few birds that left putting themselves in harm's way to protect the rest of the flock?
We were surprised when the hawk came back a few minutes later- his chase must not have been successful. Perhaps our brush pile has been his hunting ground recently and we haven't noticed. We decided to go outside, in an attempt to get better pictures, and to encourage the hawk to leave. We don't want him to feast regularly at our backyard smorgasbord. We also thought about seeing what would happen if we threw him some meat from the fridge (Bear wondered about mice in the basement), but decided we shouldn't...
Below are some fuzzy close ups of the hawk. Maybe a red-tail?
Needless to say, brush piles like these provide a lot of good cover for small wildlife. If you'd like to have one in your own yard, click to see more about our Accidental Brush Pile and Gardening for Wildlife.
Hope you're having some great wildlife sightings in your own yard,
Theresa & Bear
Alternative Winter Holiday Celebrations
Proof that Spring is Coming
It seems like Spring will never come, but here's proof that it can't be too far away.
As the Sun rises farther and farther to the East, the days lengthen and get warmer.
This really is happening. Here's how it looks from our back door:
Winter Solstice Sunrise Location, Dec. 21st:
On the shortest day of the year (Winter Soltice),
the Sun rises to the right of the pine tree's trunk (closer to the South).
Sunrise Location Today, Feb. 22, 2014:
The Sunrise is much farther to the East of the pine tree.
The days are getting longer and warmth can't be too far behind!
Soon the snow will melt
We've added a section to our Celebrate pages about Connecting with Mid-Winter.
We're craving sunlight and suffering from cabin fever, but still trying to enjoy the remaining beauty of Winter by celebrating the Celtic festival of Imbolc.
Alternative Ways to Dry Laundry in Winter
(If the link doesn't work, see: http://www.ourtinyhomestead.com/laundry.html)
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Theresa & Bear's Blog
Theresa will be posting notifications of the new pages we add to the website and Bear likes to share inspirational posts about our homesteading experiences.
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Cook Of Anarchy