The temperature is plummeting rapidly here in the snowy Green Mountains. Yesterday seemed like summer with a high of +26 F degrees. This morning I busted open three bales of pine shavings in the indoor chicken pasture (a TSC 'Garage in a Box' tent). All of the hens and pullets spent the day arranging all the shavings just 'so'. The girls were scratching and talking like life was good again. One of the araucanas laid a huge blue double yolker in the main coop where the nest boxes are. It never ceases to amaze me that despite all the arguing chickens do, they all still really like being around each other. None of them spend the day in the wood coop, they only go in to lay eggs and then later some go there to roost for the night. The tent is the place to be during the day and with the big perch added, half the flock are now staying the night out there. Late this morning after a hot bowl of oatmeal with home made maple syrup I went outside. The downward spiral in cold air was apparent. I had brought in some more firewood after morning coffee and it was +10. Colder now. I finished some other chores and then I took my LGD Briar with me to snowshoe on the mountain behind my house. We had a nice time cutting trails but it was quite cold. Tomorrow everywhere we walked will be rock solid. Because of that future snowshoe trips will be much easier. My ski poles barely touch the ground if I push them all they way down into the snow. I noticed there are no animal tracks in the snow on the mountain. Winter is bad this year, huge amounts of snow plus bitter, bitter cold. The next door neighbor keeps track of the snow totals and we have broken the January record once again (and have done so for each of the last three years). Now, as I write, it is 6 PM and it is -1 F and still sliding. A few minutes ago I brought Ranger, my Black Giant cockerel, inside the basement to a large dog crate I picked up off CL for $20 a few weeks ago. He spent a few days in it several days ago when the first wave of bitter winter weather hit. He has a large, beautiful comb. This evening when I walked in the door with him he made the funniest noises. I set him on the basement floor in front of the crate. He walked right in and carried on with his funny, happy sounds for a good 20 minutes. He actually sounds like a psychotic person laughing. I suspect he is liking indoor living a bit too much! It is weird to hear crowing coming from the basement now and then. It makes me laugh though. The weather report is for at least -20 tonight with evil wind chills. I'll switch on the brooder lamp in the main coop later this evening before calling it a night. Briar will also spend the night in the basement with Ranger. Off to throw another log in the woodstove and stir my crock pot of kielbasa and saurkraut. Mmmm, it smells so good! I hope you all are staying warm tonight!