We started out the month with frozen pipes and a burned-out well pump which meant no water in the house or to the barn for several days.
Thankfully, there was a company that came out to replace the corroded pipes and well pump; and the electrician who did all the work for activating the new pump on a very cold day. After eight hours of working on the well, we had water.
In the middle of the month, we spent about an hour or so touring Northwestern University in St. Paul. It was a nice day to explore the campus.
We've been seeing flocks of turkeys along the highway. We originally thought that someone was putting seeds down for the turkeys. Realized it was someone with a manure spreader who was creating areas for the turkeys to feed. They pick out the seeds that aren't digested by the cattle.
Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)...how do you tell the male and female woodpeckers apart from one another? I learned that the female downy woodpecker does not have the red spot on the back of her head like the male does.
In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting....nothing in terms of planting or harvesting. I want to look at improving two gardens in the backyard. Rather than doing small transplants or seeds, I want to invest in larger plants so that the garden is filled and weeds kept at a minimum.
There's a garden I pass each year that is all purple flowers. It's just beautiful; and many of them attract butterflies and beneficial insects. I'd like to do something like that - perhaps with a few more colors - so that we can see more butterflies.
I added nature journal pages about...winter colors and birds at the feeder. Was able to see a variety of colors - even in January - which surprised me.
For example, blue jays that visit the feeders a lot. There was a loud flock in the pine trees next door one morning. Red berries are still on two trees. If they last until spring, the cedar waxwings and robins eat them.
Many sunsets have beautiful shades of purple, blues, and magentas recently. The purples are, by far, my favorite color.
White clouds and snow: the snow has "diamonds" that glitter when the sun shines. Beautiful!
The sun is getting higher in the sky and gives of a bright yellowish-white glow. There's 21 more minutes of sunlight now (on January 17th) than on December 21st.
In terms of the birds at the feeder, the black-capped chickadees had the most visitors. Also saw the American tree sparrow, nuthatch, and downy woodpecker on the 13th-14th.
I am reading...a book about birds called Flights of Fancy. I've had it for a while now from the library and need to finish it soon.
This winter has been particularly difficult for me. Even temperatures in the 30s would be much better and easier to handle.
Of course, we can't see ice sculptures, but I'm okay with that. I'm ready for flowers and grass.
A photo I would like to share...on a day when it was bone-chillingly cold, we went to an open house at a local art center that's celebrating its 50th anniversary.
There were sled dogs that took people on short rides. Olivia had fun going on a ride.
It would be fun to have a sled for our dogs. However, I would imagine we would be going on a ride with death with Cooper who would be more interested in chasing squirrels and rabbits than taking us on a nice ride.
Thank you to Barb the Outdoor Hour Challenge for the idea of doing an Outdoor Mom's Journal.