Plan for the worst and hope for the best. That’s what we were thinking going into this snow storm.

At moments it was wild with blizzardy snow whipping around.

The wildlife was a bit nervous gathering food while they could. I haven’t seen Goldfinches at the feeders since last winter.

We had mild breaks between the snowfall, freezing rain, and then more snow.

Morning dawned and we still had power. It could have been much worse – and it was for some folks.

I’ve stopped trying to shoo the squirrel away from the suet feeder – he’s so photogenic. He has his own feeding sticks out on a fence post but only resorts to them when he can’t get to the bird food.

The chickadees exploring the new feeder that nobody seems to like.

They create lots of photo opportunities from the kitchen. And remind me that I need to clean my windows.

The ducks where happy to stretch their legs. Hannah likened them to penguins.

This is what snow cleanup looks like when the plow truck batteries are dead. I’m just happy the tractor started. We had a whopping high of 18 when we began shoveling out. The temps dropped steadily all day.

As I was surveying things, I spied these tracks circling the duck coop.

They meandered all through the yard and led me straight to the chicken coop.

Where I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My happy day suddenly turned sad. The shape and size of the prints lead me to believe that it was a bobcat that managed to pry open a corner of the hardware cloth covering coop windows. I raced around as fast as one can race in the snow and opened up the coop door. There were only three where should be four.

I suppose I should grateful that the bobcat made off with only one of our girls. I know when you have critters, there’s always some predator out there testing you in search of a meal. We had the fox a couple of years ago. Then there was the mink the devastated our meat chickens.  And the saddest of events for me, the skunk that made off with my favorite chicken. I know that sounds silly, but Shadow was a sweetie.

So after Paul spent hours in the cold on the tractor, cleaning up snow, I dragged him out to to the coop to show him the damage. We boarded up the chicken door to the run since the bobcat managed to break the roofing over the run. And then we screwed the hardware cloth down with fender washers to reinforce the windows.

After all of that, I felt the need to get out and about so Hannah and I made a late afternoon run to the beach.

Bundled as we were, we lasted 2.5 seconds before running back to the car.  It was so cold on that beach, it hurt!