Home Life

Into Winter

Iowa Winter

After I returned from a shift at the home, farm and auto supply store I scrubbed and cut up potatoes to roast for dinner. Roasted potatoes, a burger patty and frozen peas made a dinner — comfort food as winter approaches.

The Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, our pantry and ice box are full. There was no need to grocery shop after my shift comme d’habitude.

In eight weeks it will be time to start onions, leeks, and shallots inside, then begin soil blocking at the farm a week or two later. For now there’s indoors work of reading, writing, cooking and cleaning.

A neighbor put out bird feeders to attract birds, then expressed concern that cats were hanging around, chasing the birds away and prompting her dogs to bark at them. I wrote a response.

This is an interesting topic. Although I don’t have any solution to the issue of dogs barking at wandering cats, by putting out bird seed, like I have, a person attracts a variety of animals to the yard, which includes not only birds but mice, voles, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, deer, and maybe others.

Because of our proximity to the state park, we see almost every species native to Iowa here.

The bird feeder also brings predators of small animals, including cats, but also hawks, owls, and foxes. Then there are the scavengers like possums, turkey vultures and crows.

My point is when we decide to place a bird feeder out we are creating an ecosystem, especially if we fill feeders year-around. If members have pets, they should be kept on a leash or indoors, that’s long been our policy. However, there is a bigger ecosystem that will continue, even in the event pets can be controlled.

On that note, we head into winter.