February snow and aerial photos

This morning we woke up to some surprise snow. It wasn’t in the forecast (other than for a much higher elevation), but we got about an inch of snow overnight. Which is melting quickly on a sunny day.

So, of course I felt an urge to fly my drone to capture the winter wonderland in the early morning.

Here are the pond, snowy trees, back lawn, chicken runs, and veggie garden:

Snowy pond, trees, veggie garden

Looking down a bit to see the whole veggie garden:

Snowy pond, trees, veggie garden

From above the veggie garden, looking towards the pond:

Snowy pond, trees, chicken coop

Looking straight down to the chicken runs, veggie garden, and berry cage:

Snowy veggie garden

A bit lower down:

Snowy veggie garden

Snowy covered chicken run:

Snowy chicken run

Above the back lawn, looking back to the grove, and chicken coop:

Snowy grove, chicken coop

Some pics of the pond:

Pond

Pond

Pond

Part of the field, flowerbeds, back lawn, and pond:

Flowerbeds and pond

Higher up to include veggie garden etc:

Veggie garden, pond, etc

From the opposite direction:

Pond, flowerbeds, etc

Looking up a bit at the trees:

Trees, pond, etc

Lots of snowy trees:

Snowy trees

This one might make a nice background:

Snowy trees

Mount Hood and snowy trees:

Mount Hood and snowy trees

Mount Hood, snowy trees, etc

Lower down, with the fountain garden in the foreground:

Snowy trees, fountain garden

Back on the ground (via my iPhone), the path to the chicken coop:

Path to chicken coop

Inside the chicken run; the new(ish) roof netting is holding up well:

Chicken run roof netting

The back lawn:

Back lawn

The pond and ducks:

Pond

Pond

Pond island and ducks:

Pond island and ducks

Sunrise through the grove, with the brown gazebo and the chicken coop:

Sunrise through grove

Sunrise through grove

Sunrise through grove

Finally, the cat house:

Cat house

TikTok: Our ducks

As an experiment, earlier this month I started posting 15 second videos of our homestead on TikTok. Very simple videos, just looking at the ducks, chickens, etc; occasionally with some titles or music, but mostly just plain “original sound”.

Since I like to own all of my own content, I also save the videos to my photo library, and I thought I’d cross-post them onto this blog.

(This is also my first time embedding video on my site, without going through YouTube; please let me know if you have difficulty viewing it.)

If you use TikTok, you can follow the homestead @YellowCottageHomestead.

Here is the first video I posted; I will post the subsequent ones over the next several days:

Cat update for week ending February 20

For Caturday this week: cat food, cabin cats, a raccoon, a possum, a GIF, a Paladout, and more.

As mentioned on my personal blog, the feral cat food dispenser was running on batteries during our big power outage, and reacted badly to low battery capacity by continuously dumping all of the food from its hopper:

Food dispenser

In that picture you can see the empty hopper and the top of the feeder tube, full of food (the dispenser is on a drawer I can pull out to make it easier to refill). Below, you can see the rest of that tube, and the big pile of food it has dumped:

Cat food

I scooped the excess back into the hopper after I replaced the batteries. It’s nice that it has a battery backup when not receiving power, but running continuously might not have been the best way to preserve battery capacity.

Here are Porcini and Poppy watching me approach on a rainy morning:

Porcini and Poppy

Poppy didn’t bother retreating; she knows I’m not a threat, so long as I keep my distance:

Poppy

A raccoon briefly visited Porcini in the cat house. She informed the raccoon that it wasn’t welcome there:

Cat and raccoon

The raccoon was just waiting for a possum to get out of the way:

Raccoon and possum

Bella in front of the feeder. I do wonder where she sleeps; she doesn’t avail herself of any of the heated shelters, unlike the rest of her family:

Bella

A cat in each doorway:

Two cats

Poppy arriving, with Porcini and Spud in cabins:

Poppy, Porcini, Spud

A GIF of Poppy going into a cabin with Porcini, Spud in the other cabin, and Bella walking behind the cabins:

GIF of Poppy, Porcini, Spud, Bella

Do you see three cats?

Three cats

Hint:

Cat jumping down from tree

Poppy and Porcini inside the cat house:

Poppy and Porcini

Doing my morning rounds, having visited the ducks, I noticed Paladout on the hidden path by the pond:

Paladout by the pond

Closer:

Paladout by the pond

Paladout by the pond

Three cats inside the house this morning:

Three cats

Finally, Poppy watching me from under our main deck:

Poppy

Flock Friday for February 19

It’s been an interesting week, with an ice storm, snow, and days of power cuts. The ice and snow is all gone now, and we have power again (albeit with an hour outage yesterday evening). But things still feel unstable, and I know other parts of the country aren’t faring so well.

If you missed them, check out the previous two posts on the ice storm, including pictures of the chickens and ducks.

Here’s an aerial drone shot of the pond and snowy environs; you can see the new island in the center, and the ducks nearby:

Aerial pond

Duck prints in the snow:

Duck prints in snow

Duck prints in snow

Despite the days of freezing weather, the pond didn’t fully freeze at all; the closest it came was a slushy crust:

Slushy pond

Ducks in slushy pond

The hummingbirds were very hungry with no other food sources:

Hummingbirds

Ducks on pond bank, with melting snow:

Ducks on pond bank

Ducks on pond bank

Ducks on the island:

Ducks on pond island

Ducks on pond island

A cam shot of sleepy ducks on the edge of the pond, and on the island. It’s got a bit of a tilt due to water pooling on it, but the edge is still above the water line, so that’s okay:

Ducks on pond island

Hungry hummingbirds again:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Let’s finish with a couple of token chicken pictures:

Chickens

Chickens

Ice storm: generator, chickens, ducks, bees

Our electricity is still off due to the ice storm a couple of nights ago. Fortunately we have a portable generator, and fortunately I recently got it serviced so it actually works. I had it running most of the day yesterday, and expect to keep it going all day today (I turned it off overnight). It is providing power to our kitchen fridge/freezer, and currently slowly recharging the UPS for our internet router and Wi-Fi, and can be used to recharge other devices as needed:

Generator

Since we’re on a well, when the power is off, we don’t have any water, so we are using water jugs:

Water jug

Though weirdly when we flush a toilet it does refill; I know there’s some water in the pipes and pressure tank, but I would have expected that to be exhausted quickly, but hasn’t been yet. Upstairs, what’s more. Could water be coming up from the well without the pump?! We don’t want to push our luck, but are glad we don’t have to refill the cisterns the hard way yet.

Ice on a tree by the chicken runs:

Ice on tree by chicken run

Ice on the chicken run roof netting; it’s survived much better than the old netting I had previously:

Ice on chicken run roof netting

Chicken coop icicles:

Chicken coop icicles

The chickens are quite happy to stay inside, thank you very much:

Chickens

Chickens

I took a look at the beehives this morning:

Beehives

They each have a sheet of ice on their roof, which could be concerning, as the heat of the hive should have melted it, though the feeders on top of each hive may have insulated the roof from them:

Beehives

Levitating ice:

Beehives

There are a bunch of dead bees on some of the hive entrances, which is actually a good sign — it proves there are some bees active to clean out the dead ones. There are thousands of bees in each hive, so a few dead ones is normal and not concerning. I did see a live one walking around, too, probably on the cleanup crew:

Bees

More on the ground:

Bees

The chickens reluctantly came out for their treats:

Chickens

I refilled the food for the ducks, and tossed some over to them to enjoy:

Ducks

The pond isn’t frozen; after starting to get slushy yesterday morning, it hasn’t been quite cold enough to maintain that:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ice storm: icy branches, icicles, ducks, hummingbirds

We had an ice storm last night. This morning, everything is covered in a layer of ice, with some powdery snow on top. Only about half an inch of each, but it was enough to knock out our power (and for everyone else in the region).

Some icy branches:

Icy branches

Tree branches weighed down; they’re normally high enough to walk under, not touching the ground:

Tree branches

Tree branches

Icy willow branches:

Icy branches

I lifted up a sample, looking edge on: a layer of ice with a layer of snow on top:

Snow and ice

The pond is starting to freeze. Just slushy at present, with some liquid on the edges:

Slushy pond and ducks

Slushy pond and ducks

The ramp into the duck house is icy, but they can make it, so still have access to food:

Slushy pond and ducks

Icicles on the duck house:

Icicles

The ducks:

Slushy pond and ducks

Slushy pond and ducks

Icicles on the bird food box:

Icicles

And the gazebo and deck:

Icicles

The hummingbird feeders were frozen; I brought this one inside to defrost:

Frozen hummingbird feeder

Since we don’t have power now, and thus can’t use the heater, I’m alternating the hummingbird feeders. We can heat water to make the sugar syrup using a kettle on our gas stove. They’re very hungry, unsurprisingly:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

I’ll go out to the chicken coop every few hours to poke at their water dispensers, to break up the ice.

Our internet is working for now, powered by a UPS, though we’ll probably turn it off soon to preserve the battery. Fun times!

Cat update for week ending February 13

We are currently without power, which isn’t great for us, but also isn’t ideal for the feral cats, as their heated shelters won’t be as toasty.

Though they are quite used to snuggling together for warmth. Here are Spud and Poppy together in the left cabin, and Porcini in the right (back when we had power):

Three cats

Poppy watching me:

Poppy

Three cats again:

Three cats

The twins — Spud and Pommie:

Twins

Three cats at the cat house:

Three cats

Three cats

Snuggles inside:

Snuggles

Spud in his breezeway cabin:

Spud

Four cats at the cabins (Porcini, Spud, Poppy, Pommie):

Four cats

Some snow yesterday:

Snowy

Me refilling their heated water dish (which also doesn’t work with the power off; it’s now frozen):

Refilling water

Two cats watching me as I walk up the path to the bird food box, while it snows:

Two cats

Two cats

Four cats again (the same bunch as before, with Spud behind Poppy in the left cabin):

Four cats

This morning, a layer of ice covered by a layer of snow; here’s the frozen small pond by the cat house:

Snow and ice

The cat house:

Cat house