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It happened again

December 20, 2022

Just as I was starting to rinse the conditioner out of my hair last night the shower stopped producing water. Not the first time this has happened in the winter.

Dry myself off, check the fuse box. No, the well head pump hasn’t been tripped. Pull my jeans and jumper back on, along with wellies, grab a torch and head down in the snow to the side of the house where I crawl into the crawl space and switch the water source from the well to the cistern. Then slip slide down the rest of the way to flip the switch at the cistern to make it the water source. The overworked pump under the house stops screaming. Come back in and try a tap. Yes, there is water. Yes, the pipes from the well have frozen again. If I didn’t have the cistern I’d be screwed until the eventual thaw.

Get back into my robe, use the shower attachment to finish rinsing conditioner out of my hair, throw another log in the woodstove and sit down to rewatch some episodes of The IT Crowd on Netflix. (Why, oh why are pratfalls so bloody funny?) Welcome to winter on the island.

Get up and look outside to discover a foot of snow has fallen overnight. 

Good thing I replenished the suet feeder yesterday.

First job of the morning is to put wellies on hang out the kept-inside-overnight-to-prevent-freezing hummingbird feeder. 

A customer arrives almost immediately, but takes off as soon as he sees me through the window approaching with the camera.

I don’t always remember to bring the feeder in at night. When I checked yesterday the nectar had indeed frozen. Fresh batch of nectar made and now a daily alarm on my phone reminding me to bring the feeder in at 5pm every night for the foreseeable.

Most hummingbirds get the fuck out of here for the winter, but in coastal BC the Anna’s hang around. And it’s up to us to help them survive the cold. I looked it up a while ago. 

Did you know hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any heat-generating animal? This does not surprise me. They’re pretty amazing. And it seems they have some evolutionary tricks, including fluffing their feathers to insulate themselves, and going into a sleep state at night called torpor, which is a very deep sleep that reduces their body temperature and metabolism to use up less energy.

As I said, pretty amazing, eh?

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