This spring the brothers turn 11; Chloe & Annie, 8; Maukie & Flynn, 5

January 2: Decocting the reishi today
Fluff, Maukie, Flynn (Popo)
Richard has a new IR camera

January 30
The squirrels are actually more fun to watch than the birds

31 Jan 2016
31 Jan: Ice everwhere under the snow
1 Feb 2016
1 Feb: Temps in the upper 40s last night and today. Ground is clear.

2 Feb at 3:30 pm: 48° and sap is running.

14 Feb: It was -20° this morning at 5:30 am and -7° at 11:00 am. My heater stopped putting out 3 days ago. I ordered a new pilot assembly but it won't be here until Tuesday, the 16th, so for the coldest days this winter will see, I am heating my house with 2 oil-filled electric heaters and every light on during the day. Also, when the weather is this cold, the on demand water heater will not work, presumably because the condensation in the inlet pipe is frozen and the gas flame cannot get enough oxygen. I'll have a heart stopping electric bill but it is heartening to know that those electric heaters can keep the house at 60 even at 20 below. (Electric bill was $145)

Feb 14: No running water to be seen
Feb 14: No one is going out today!
Feb 21: First bucket goes up. What a difference a week makes.
Feb 19: The Blue Flame gas tech was here and I had the wires on the wrong terminals. Duh. He also discovered that the cap was missing from the Rinnai condensate drain. I found it nearby. That might be all that was wrong with the Rinnai not firing on super cold days.
March 3: Winter temps are back. Sap stopped running.

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March 4: Got my own Berkey.
No more boiling water.
Frozen Wood Frog
March 20: I was shocked to find this frozen wood frog on top of the thin ice on the pond. Because of its large size, I assume it is a female and there was an egg mass nearby under the ice. It will be below freezing for at least a couple more nights so I brought her in to see if she recovers—and I read that it is possible—I've prepared a barrel with pond water and algae to house her until the weather is more amenable, which will be soon.
PS: The wood frog didn't make it.

April 3: Maukie has recovered from an upper respiratory infection but Flynn has it now and his recovery is slower. This morning he seems a bit more alert and active but still not eating, sneezing regularly and sleeping a lot.

3 April: A relapse of winter—3 inches of snow yesterday and -5° this morning at 7.
First asparagus, 3 years after planting.
14 May: Gorgeous day. Planted a new pumpkin patch and my window box, began the cement walkmaker path through the sweet woodruff, lots of mowing, pruning, dirtwork.

15 May: Cold night frosted the $50 worth of sweet potato vines in the window box. I brought the planters in and flooded them with lights and lots of misting. They all came back.

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29 May: Master Croaker— every day, all day and all night.

June: Enter Wee White Willy Wonka, fighting and enduring regular thrashings from Flynn but hanging in there. Can't get my hands on him but I think it is just a matter of time. Hopefully he will survive.
22 June: Fluff, His retired highness, 11 now and taking it easy
24 June: I had at least one nesting pair of Redstarts this year, first time ever. There were 2 babies in the lilac next to the driveway. Nine days from hatch to flight.
June: Foxglove inexplicably popped up in the pond garden.
Recovered from April 3

28 June: My little Sweetbay Magnolia is blooming.
All the hostas are blooming this year.
28 June: Annie is 8 this year

28 June
rain barrel 15 July: New rain barrel—$50 in the Free Press. The woman I bought it from in Schuylerville bought it 3 years ago and never used it. The plastic spigot was broken so I replaced it with a brass one and there was a crack in the bottom of one leg, probably from a freeze and I melted it shut.

Lots of rain this July so far, often torrential. The black raspberries and blueberries are having a banner year.

The sweet potato vine is being eaten by the larva of the golden tortoise beetle, a fascinating insect. I am just picking them off.


3 Aug: Closed on 48 Russell today.

6,7 Aug: Sammy came down and cut 10 big trees Saturday and Sunday, two on Rom's property and the rest on mine. Sebastian was a big help, driving the tractor and cart and did quite a bit of chainsawing himself.
11 Aug: Willy let me touch him today.

first pumpkin
12 Aug: First Pumpkin. These are small eating pumpkins. This one is full size (6") and I think it grew that size overnight.


truck4 truck truck 4 sale
Kept the truck but got $3000 for the plow
Oct: For my b'day Sammy got me a couple very groovy drill sets, impact driver and quick charge battery. YAY!
11/21: The craziness never ends
11/21: Yikes!
12/25: Lion's Mane Mushroom

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