We had a dusting of snow this morning and the temperature was 7° on the deck. That was offset a bit by the fact that it was a beautiful day, with the snow shining on top of the Big Frog and mist rising from the creek below.
The way I count it, it’s been a little colder than usual this winter, because I can’t recall a single time we’ve been able to eat on the deck. That’s a bit unusual. We’ve almost gone through two cords of wood already, which is quite a bit more than usual. It’s continued to be a bit of a struggle to make a fire, because the wood is still so wet. The fresh-split wood seems to be as dry or drier than the wood I’ve had sitting in the rack for two years, which is definitely a first. I’ve already made a note to sweep the chimney this spring, even though it was swept last fall.
We’ve been seeing lots of woodpeckers regularly, including piliated, red-bellied, downy, and hairy, along with the occasional flicker. There also seem to be more nuthatches around our place than usual, which has been a treat.
I’m told that the Buckner Brothers Band is playing the Fire & Ice Festival on February 15, along with some other bands.
The City of McCaysville had a water crisis during the last cold spell, which they attributed to burst pipes in unoccupied cabins. If you haven’t checked your place in a while, it might be a good idea. (We had a temperature of 1°, our lowest so far this winter.) One tip that I’ve found helpful is to remember to open up the cabinet on the upstairs vanity, especially if it sits on a back wall. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep the kitchen and down bathroom cabinets that enclose water pipes open, too. But what I’ve seen most often is the upstairs bath freezing up. If you don’t want to go the full monte with winterizing by draining the system and putting antifreeze in the traps, it is at least a very good idea to turn the water off at the curb box before you leave. It’s no fun to come home to a flooded cabin.