Thursday, January 31, 2019

Oh Baby.....It's Cold Out

Well those of you in the mid section of the U.S. know it is COLD outside.  Yesterday we woke to -11* and it made it's way to a high of 2*.
This morning it was -6* and it's going to "warm" up to the upper teens!!!!!  Snow coming tonight, then warming up to the upper 50's this weekend.
"Mother nature" is going through menopause I do believe.  This has been a crazy weather month for sure.  But IT IS winter!

I take good care of our pets, as I am sure you do as well.  People either bring them in, or have a nice warm place for them (garages, greenhouse, etc.).  My kitties have a nice warm heating mat under their beds in the greenhouse and they have a heater in there.  They also have a heated water bowl and they get plenty of food.

Remember whether it's pets or nature - it takes a lot more calories for them to stay warm.  They need lots of extra calories.
I have a heated birdbath and 3 heated bowls around the area.  Think about it - how much LIQUID water do you think nature can find in these frigid temps?  Not much.
I have seen more birds drinking at the birdbath in the past couple days than I have in months.  The water is above freezing, therefore probably warms their innards and  help them stay hydrated.
I have been watching sparrows, finches, cardinals, blue jays, starlings, doves, and even pigeons at the watering hole.  I even saw the woodpeckers there yesterday.

 This is from the recipe I listed on Tuesday - I made little balls for the squirrels.  They love them!!  It is so cute to watch them sit and hold them in their little paws and munch away!
 A single recipe makes 4 bird cakes as well - used plastic 'pans' I had kept.  They are a hit.  With the corn syrup and added nuts and oats (what I added) they get a lot of energy calories.
**When forming or pressing into pans - keep your hands wet - or the mixture sticks to them!!!

 This is through the window screen - sorry it's not as clear.  Squirrel getting a drink.  See the thermometer - it's ZERO - this was at 9:30 AM
                       Birdies getting a drink - They just keep taking turns.  It is so sweet.

I leave peanuts in the shell (I get at the feed store very cheaply) for the squirrels and the blue jays.  If I have stale bread this time of the year - it gets thrown out there.  Stale flake cereal, cookies (no chocolate), apple cores or peels, whatever you an give them - will get eaten.
Of course I put out finch seed and regular birdseed and sunflower seeds as well.
(Yeah, my yearly budget includes a lot of critter feed). LOL

Please don't forget about nature!  Do what you can.  I have a 'rock' that plugs in and can be used in a regular bird bath - keeps it thawed.  They are inexpensive.  I think the heated birdbath was about $19 and has lasted for years.

I have read a couple of stories of people saving birds that appeared to be froze - they took them into garage and warmed them - fed them - and gave them water.  They survived.  Water is essential to all life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is exceedingly hot in some places now and animals and birds aren't getting water for a completely different reason.  I suggest that if you live in those areas - leave water as well!

I just hate it that nature doesn't have many options.  People do - they can go places and know where to get food and drink.  Nature doesn't always have such options.
We need to be kind to all of God's creatures.

We take care of each other.  We tend our plants, so they will survive.  We need to take care of wildlife as well.  They give us such enjoyment.

                                                   Thank you for your assistance!!!


  1. I love watching the birds! I put a water heater in my birdbath for wildlife (even deer have come to drink at night) and hang suet cakes and safflower seeds. Stale bread or old nuts get scattered for the ground feeders. I've even tossed suet cakes on the ground to try and keep the squirrels from hanging off the feeders. Well, everyone is hungry and all God's creatures deserve to eat. I can watch all the action from my dining room when I sip my morning coffee. It's so rewarding!

    1. Thank you! It is so entertaining to watch all of nature. We have no deer here, but a bit of everything else. It is absolutely the best free entertainment.
      They can be very comical as well. The squirrels do what appears to be gymnastics at time, and they run and play.
      Yes, it is rewarding.

  2. I love birds and love to watch them feed.

  3. Thanks for the reminder. I will go put out some seeds and water now.

  4. Cheryl you are quite right about water being needed in the heat as well. We have two old icecream containers out the front that I fill with water for the visiting birds. I have some saucers under pot plants that I fill with water for the plants to suck up. I noticed yesterday there were a few lizards using these for a drink. In the garden I have a bird bath that I fill each evening. At the moment this birdbath is dry before I fill it again. That is how hot is it. When the sprinkler is on all the local birds play around under the water. Some just sit there and enjoy their shower. They are quite funny to watch. We have a few wild ducks that waddle onto our front lawn of an evening and check out what tid bits have been left for them.

    1. Poor babies - I bet that shower feels lovely. Thank you for helping out nature. We need to take care of everything on this planet.
      Every creature is part of the balance of life.
      I hope you get some cooler weather soon!

  5. That is so neat that you take care of the birds and squirrels, Cheryl. We leave dried corn out for the squirrels here and we have two bird feeders and of course our cats come indoors in this cold weather. You all are so much colder than we are, so I hope the bitter cold goes away soon and it warms up some.

    1. Thanks for helping the critters.
      The colder is moving on by as of today. We got snow overnight - but temps will be warming much in the next few days.
      YES, it was terribly cold - but there is so much hype about it. It is winter - people seem to forget from one year to another! Kind of like they forget how to drive in snow!!!! LOL

  6. I agree! My family laughs at me and calls them animals, but I love taking care of them. We don't have freezing weather here, but I have squirrels and birds in my chicken budget for the year, lol...I haven't made them any treats yet, but may try that recipe you have. Thanks

    1. Barbara what is funny - years ago my Aunt & Uncle did this, and I thought they were crazy. Now I just look up and laugh and tell Aunt Mary & Uncle Ed - "yes, I learned".
      They are so cute and such entertainment.
      Thank you!!!!!!!!

  7. Ah, a fellow animal lover. Do you use a heating rock and a heated bird bath? Ive wanted one for years but am afraid of fire. I take heated water out, which is pretty miserable at 5am!

    1. I have a rock, but have replaced with a heated birdbath. Both are very inexpensive and safe. I have used one or the other for many years.
      Heated water won't last long either at subzero temps! Thanks for helping.

  8. Your friends are just the cutest. I have to make those treats! My squirrels will go crazy over those treats. I probably won't even get them out of my hand. They will be climbing on me and snagging them, lol.

    I am so happy that a couple of your readers were able to save their birds. I was so upset when DH found a frozen bird. That has never happened. I was in tears. She was beyond saving. I don't understand what happened since me & my neighbor provide the birds with a lot of safe areas, food and water. I rescue birds. I grew up in a bird rescue family. The one nice thing about my childhood. I grew up around a lot of birds, owls, falcon's. You name it. :) Wish we found her earlier I could have gotten her into an incubator. I guess it was her time. I just hate seeing anyone suffer in the cold.

    I am overprotective of my animals that come and visit me. They get spoiled rotten. I don't really do a lot for the neighborhood cats because my next door neighbor keeps an area underneath his house open and the cats go in there and sleep on his heated porch. We all make sure they get in there though. He even lets the opossums and skunks in. They all get food warmth, blankets and love.

    I know this will probably make a few people faint. I even protect the snakes and spiders. DH & I are letting the spiders stay in our warm garage. We have the nice spiders that eat things you don't want in your home. I have lived in my home for six years and never had a bad spider- brown recluse or black widow. Our garden snakes are in hibernation but they do come out and get confused. I make them areas where they are warm and safe. Garden snakes are very welcome at my home. They keep the bad ones away like the cottonmouth and rattler's we get in the area. DH & I have a lot of timber so rattler's are always a worry. I love snakes of all kinds.

    We will be in the 60's this week. I am so excited. I want to send our warmth to everyone else. Expect more Polar Vortexes though. It's going to be the new norm. I worked in the weather field for a long time.

    1. Thank you for taking care of helpless nature.
      I have had opossums live in our yard, and have even gone out to feed cats in the greenhouse to see the opossum up in bed and partially covered with blankets. LOL - kitties didn't care.
      We had a baby opossum get left alone and we took care to leave it food and water. It wasn't afraid and stayed for a long time.

      My squirrels run up to me and beg at my feet. Have started to climb jeans before and eat from my hand. Love it!

      I leave spiders alone and have taken them outside when in the home. No bad ones though.
      Snakes - NOPE - don't like them. They just give me the willies.

      You are a good girl if you like all those critters. Some I just don't never want to deal with.
      I do love the furry and feathered ones!

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