Monday, March 05, 2012


Stream on Dorsey Lane, Monaghan Twp. York County, PA
You know it’s got to be March when the temperature swings 40 degrees in a single day. This whole week at Roundtop either was like that or is going to be like that. It’s the kind of weather where I end up with four different jackets tossed on the back of the kitchen chairs.

I start the morning with a heavy jacket, a cap and gloves, move to a lighter jacket by noontime, am down to no jacket or a shell for the hottest part of the afternoon and then repeat the entire process by the last time I run the dogs after dark. The kitchen looks as though I’m expecting company for dinner.

I prefer weather when the same jacket or coat lasts me the entire day. I can probably forget about that happening again for at least a month or two.

This morning I discovered that my chickens are smarter than I’d guessed. Their waterer had ice in it, and I was getting ready to switch it out with the second one. I have two, and there’s always a second one inside so the ice can melt. During the mid-winter I switch the two every 12 hours so the chickens always have fresh water.

This morning one of them started pecking at the skim ice in the overnight waterer. It wasn’t long before she’d opened it up enough to get her morning thirst quenched. Of course, she couldn’t do this on nights that are so cold that the water freezes into a solid brick of ice. But I was surprised she’d figured out how to get through the thin ice. Who says chickens are dumb? They aren’t, at least not when it comes to food, and apparently, also, water.

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