map-of-the-kenai-peninsula-region-of-alaskaI have family in Alaska. Mostly they live on the Kenai Peninsula – in or around Soldotna area. Each Christmas, I look forward to receiving an Alaska themed calendar from my cousin Michael and his wife Alison. I don’t know why I love it so much, I think it’s all the photos of the Aurora Borealis; they truly fascinate me. I’ve never seen them the couple of times I’ve been in the northern regions, but it’s one of my bucket list things. Anyway – this year’s calendar also includes the names of the months in different First Nations’ languages. January is Irallull’er, it translates to ‘the bad month’ in Yup’ik but only in the Bristol Bay region. I find it interesting that tribes in different areas can use the img_3897.jpegsame name, with the same meaning, for differing months. It is completely dependent upon the weather; some months could come before others. I suppose, as we look at our weather this month – compared to others – this could be our Irallull’er. Or perhaps our month is more Kanruyauciq, meaning “frost”, like those of the Canineq area (lower coastal). No matter what its correct name is, we’ve been calling it “cold.”

img_3901The last two days have warmed up nicely – over 60° during the day – but the nights are still simply frigid. As I write this, the temperature has dropped almost 10° in the last half hour. As soon as the sun sinks behind the Huachuca Mountains, the temperature plummets. To help keep the animals warm, dry, and comfy – Sue did some bedding maintenance today. She went to Jem’s Feed and picked up #2 Hay bales; these still have a lot of yumminess attached. The Goat Boys and the RCW got all new dry and soft bedding. She also staged some other bales outside of the coop, it’s just too dang hard to lift them over the fencing by ones-self. I’m waiting a bit because I’m hoping to take some photos of the two areas img_3903for you to see the after effect. I should have taken before photos, so you can be dully impressed, but we never really seem to think about that until it’s too late. Maybe one day it will become second nature. But not today!
OK – so back from putting everyone in… above is a photo of the RCW’s interior. It’s hard to truly gauge the depth, but I didn’t want to disturb those trying to get ready for bed. The hay is up to to top of the wheel wells, so that’s about a foot or maybe 18″ deep. Comfy and nice. To the left, you can see the Goat Boys are happy, too. Here they are getting their bedtime treat of sweet feed. They have a foot  or more of new bedding as well. Nice and dry and warm. The area right in front of their door faces north, so there was quite a bit of img_3906icy snow and mud in their pen. Sue used the old hay to give them sturdier footing. There’s about a foot of straw in front of their door way. They seem to like it a lot better, and the chickens will have a good time scratching through it. They already like to go inside the shed and root around during the day. I even found a cache of eggs in there a couple of days ago. Little devils. Anyway, in this photo you can see the straw piled next to their feed station, that kind of gives you an idea of the depth of the old stuff.

Tomorrow we will move the RCW lower on the pasture, this is as close to the road as it will ever get. I will try to remember to take before and afters for you. Tomorrow evening is also the day we will try to move Octave, Cheese, and the Quackers over to the the oldies section of the coop. We had an aborted attempt tonight, but we learned some valuable information which should help us tomorrow evening. If you’re interested in coming to herd a goose and four ducks tomorrow about 5:45 p.m., come on by! Could be loads of fun. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!

Today’s Weather: Well we touched on that briefly. Sue says the high today was 66°. Currently, at 6:04 p.m., it is 44° with 59% humidity. We still have snow and ice in the shady places. Looks like our low tonight may only be 32°. That’d be nice for everyone. Maybe only some frost rather than the hard freeze we’ve been having. The winter garden has been covered in snow, on top of it’s covering, so I have no idea if our winter cabbages and lettuces have survived or not. Hopefully it’ll warm up enough that I’ll be able to take the covers off tomorrow sometime. Sunrise today was at 7:19 and sunset at 5:30. Tomorrow is shaping up to be partly cloudy with a high of 63°. Perhaps some rain on Sunday. So far, this has been the wettest winter we’ve had since we’ve moved here. Bodes well for the summer months.

Egg Report: Thursday – 18 chicken. Friday – 16 chicken.