A female downy woodpecker chows down on a suet block to keep up its energy in our cold weather outside The Nuthatch cabin.
TO SHOW YOU HOW COLD IT IS: I had to bring a case of beer in off the back porch so it wouldn’t freeze solid.
It’s the coldest day of the year so far at our island hermitage. The thermometer outside was stuck on 20 degrees F. when we got up this morning, and it hasn’t risen more than 5 notches this afternoon. Adding significantly to that, we have steady northeasterly winds scouring frigid Canadian air down out of the Fraser River Valley, with frequent gusts to 30 mph, giving a wind chill effect of a decidedly unbalmy 8 degrees.
We had the season’s first snowfall yesterday, but it came and went without leaving anything on the ground, unlike much of the Puget Sound area, where we’re hearing reports of up to 8 inches.
It’s a battle to keep the cabin warm today. We hauled out our big oil-filled radiator and plugged it in overnight, but it still got down to 50 inside overnight, and despite keeping the woodstove fire banked all day, it’s only 60 degrees inside. Barbara and I are making good use of long johns and hot coffee.
Earlier, I pulled on four layers of ski togs and tramped across the island to check on the WeLike at the dock, happy to find our old runabout weathering the winds OK at one of the inner slips. But a boat on the outermost pier was coated in ice from the wind-driven whitecaps. Another had snapped a mooring line and was swinging on its bowline. Spray from Reads Bay had coated the end of the dock with a half-inch of solid saltwater ice. Time to get out the Yaktrax!
Meanwhile, we’re keeping the feeders filled, though it’s a challenge to keep up with the appetites of the local avian crowd, doing their best to keep up their energy and not turn into birdsicles.
Warm wishes, as we wish for warmth!