The Birds Know

Yesterday another seven inches of snow fell.



It might look like winter to us humans, but the birds know that springtime is coming. In the midst of the storm, a robin found the water bubbling out of the rock. The Beast might be slumbering in the pond below, but the robin, clued into to light and other things that we humans aren’t privy to, knows that the weather will turn soon.



My hens, too, have declared that they’ve seen the tail end of winter. While the wind was blowing and the white stuff was falling hard, the Gems laid six eggs, and the Ladies laid five.



This morning, the pond is little more than an undulation in the snow.



The path is narrow to the Little Barn, but I’m going to believe the birds. Spring is around the corner.



  1. My mother used to say “Winter’s back is broken.” when you got past the middle of February. Love the pic of the chairs in the snow. You must do another in the summer and put them side-by-side.

  2. Love the caps of snow on the fence posts (seen from the goat cam)! The snow we got last week is almost totally gone. Now if the P.O. can just find my box from the Bakers Store that UPS delivered to them last Thursday…

  3. So much snow! Here in the east of England we’ve had barely a frost, let alone snow. It’s the mildest winter I’ve known ever. Yes it has been wet and windy – but we are the driest part of the UK so although the ground is wet and trees have come down, we haven’t had widespread flooding – just the odd road flooded for a few days.

    I hope you’re not sending that winter weather over here for March!!

  4. I am hearing the “summer birds” singing again. We’ve had several days now of near 70’s and finally ALL of the snow has melted into the thirsty earth. I woke up the other morning to the trees FULL of black birds, making their way back to their summer homes. By the time I’d grabbed a coffee and headed out to open the coop, they had all taken flight, guess they’d just checked in for a little rest through the night :-)
    I am waiting to hear the spring peepers in the ponds. That’s when I really get excited. The Robins have already passed through and egg production has picked up again. We had a little break a couple of weeks ago and I was getting 7 to 8 eggs for our ladies every day, then it snowed again and got cold and they slowed. It’s picking up again now and soon I’ll be able to turn off the heater under their water for good.
    Coming up on the finest time of year, I do SO love Spring!!

    • There’s one night in the springtime, right after thaw, when the salamanders march out from their winter homes to their summer abodes. I’ve never seen it myself, but have heard about the sight.

  5. My first sign of spring up here is when the red wing blackbirds return followed a week later by the robins. Last year it was March 11 when I spotted the first red wing. I can’t wait.

  6. I’m here at work listening to the Satellite radio. They are predicting 50 degree weather for your area this weekend! Mud!

    • I’m not sure how to calculate how much mud a four foot high pile of snow will turn into, especially since those temps are coming with rain.

  7. What a wonderful pictures. I live in south of Finland and we´re having kind of unusual winter here. No snow and about 0 – +5 celsius and heavy rains. Only January we had about -15 c hole month. Normally winter from October to march would be snow and freezing temperatures. But now I hope the spring would really come because it has been so dark winter time. Do you have this: because of the bird flu we must keep our chicken from march to may in or in fenced area, roof fenced too and also tell it to the local vet if I keep the chickens out in the fenced area? That´s because the birds moving from Africa might infect my chickens. I think that the sick birds probably have died before they reach Finland. I look your pages every day and really enjoy of them! Sorry the bad english.

    • Your English is better than my Finnish :) Here in North America we haven’t had any cases of the virulent strain of bird flu and so we don’t have the regulations that you do. The government keeps a close eye on migrating birds and does testing. So far, so good.

    • The snow cover is actually good for the Beast. It insulates the pond. The pump works all winter, and so the pond has a cover of ice, but under that there’s flowing, oxygenated water.

  8. Terry, beautiful pictures as always and the girls laid a total of 11 eggs…impressive! It’s close to 80 here today in central FL which feels like Spring is here and definitely heading your way =).

  9. Robins!? I guess they have to get a move on up by you because your season is shorter than ours. I’m still waiting for bird song to start. Though I did see an American Goldfinch with a sheen of yellow just under his chin. Like Marie, I await the arrival of the Red Wing Blackbirds. But spring isn’t ‘official’ around here till the Juncos depart for their summer grounds.

    And I just want to let you know again that I appreciate your caring lifestyle towards critters. There are people who consider fish throw away pets. They buy new fish every spring for their ‘pond’ and come winter they shut it all down. “If they live, they live. If they die, they die. They’re just fish you know.” I can’t tell you how much that infuriates me. Fish or no, they don’t deserve to be tortured to death just because you want to save on your electric bill. Life, in general, is tough enough. (And if you can’t afford critters, don’t buy critters!) Okay, rant over. :)

  10. Terry, during winter do you have to clean the pump to your pond? Oh my at least each day brings spring CLOSER! How has Tonka done with the latest round of snow?? He is so blessed to have you!

    • The filter needs frequent cleaning in the fall to keep leaves out, but by winter there’s no maintenance needed. Anyway, right now we can’t reach it as it’s under 2 feet of snow.
      Tonka is doing fine. The snow and cold isn’t an issue with him, but it’s important to keep ice and snow picked out of his hooves. I go daily to groom him and do ground work with him. We both can’t wait until the footing is okay for riding!

  11. Yes, the back of winter is indeed broken here too (44 N latitude). About a week ago I heard the first ‘spring twittering’ from the birds. In my ignorance, I don’t know if this is the overwintering birds getting their mating hormones going, or the twitterers are the very first migratory birds showing up from parts south. Another sight and sound I look for this time of year is the ravens, cawing and croaking and crying as they do their death-defying mating flights in the sky. Love, love, love these first hints of spring. The snow can’t be trusted — the sun is starting to return.

    • I’ve only seen ravens a few times in the White Mountains. I’ve never seen the springtime behavior, but have read about those amazing birds.

  12. I guess our weather comes over to you the following day. Tomorrow we get the sleet in a.m. and rain all day–just to melt the piles of snow and cause flooding!!
    The bird do definitely know that spring is coming. Do Pip and Caper have any tricks for predicting spring?

  13. Yes it hard to believe yesterday we got in Michigan 5 to 6 inches more snow and we have to use the snow blower and shoveled and snow plow on the tractor and drifts 2 ft. hi took hours remove the snow .Then to day at 11;30 am the sun came out and warmed up to 38 * back in the teens again tonight. The winter just doesn’t quite.
    Thanks for every one input. Patti & Paul

  14. Hi Terry! I bet that is Mrs. Robin who nested in your planter last year. She’s come first to claim her spot. Nice homes are hard to find. Lily will be thrilled.

  15. Ms. Terry, I love your animals, especially your hens. We have hens too. Our weather in Baton Rouge, LA is strange too. It is 5:49 the morning and the temperature is 68. They say it is supposed to get up to 82 today. We are supposed to be having more normal ‘winter’ weather for our area next week. What beautiful chickens.

      • Rabbits need to chew wood. Better that than the side of the coop! They also love new things in their environment, and a simple ladder can truly enrich her life.

  16. Wish I could come to your chick talk on Saturday but a little too far since I live in Florida now. My son, near you, will be there. He told me of your web cams and I am hooked. Such healthy and clean chickens! Love it!