When I went to bed last night it was 4F (minus 15 celcius) – now, I know for you people up in the mountains to the north this is not too cold but for me here on the plains of Illinois this is bloody cold for November.

We did get a bit of snow with nasty ice but for the most part the cold caught me by surprise.

We seem to have jumped straight to that awful majestic bleakness of mid winter.

The wind had dropped by yesterday afternoon though, which made my afternoon farming almost pleasant.

After a long day in the mill – and it never seems long enough because the mill is like an alternate universe where time seems to behave differently – I quite enjoy feeding and watering the animals. I have the best of both worlds. The farming grounds me and the organic food industry stretches my brain ( and give me an income)!

Here is a little freezing duck video for you. I hope it loads. On that really cold day the ducks would waddle along a bit then sit on their feet to warm them up again. And they insisted on breaking the ice on their muddy pond so they could all flap about in there. The water froze to their feathers and they looked a bit silly. Funny ducks.

Last night when I put the ducks to bed, as I shut the door, I saw three chooks sitting on a bale in the Quack House. There was nothing I could do. It was dark. I just shut the door.

Let’s look at the weather.

Looks like we have a warm up on the way. That’s good. I really want to get more straw in for these pigs.

I hope you all have a great day. It is Wednesday here and I have barely scratched the surface of this week. I need to have another cup of coffee and make a list.

Love c


  1. It’s even a little nippy here on the Texas coast — 36F just now in Galveston, but 31F at the airports. At least the wind has laid, and I’ll be out there working away myself. Here’s to some warmup for us all!

  2. Normal hi/lo temps for this time of year are +8/-1°C… At sunrise this morning? -13°C(+5°F) on a a full Beaver Moon. What sort of time-change trickery is this, that it seems we somehow jumped straight from Hallowe’en to mid-January? The tiny leaves dropping off the Locust yesterday reminded me of bits of spent newspaper ash after starting a fire. Bad enough that we’d leap-frogged ahead last Thursday by six weeks straight into Winter with six inches of snow; but God-only-knows what this latest bit last night will have done to the unprepared buds for next year… For those who (still) believe there’s no such thing as Climate Change? WAKE UP PEOPLE. Hoping we all return to normal asap. Hugs

      • The temps I quoted are Environment Canada’s historical averages for this area: the norms for this time of year in this part of Central Ontario… But I totally agree, things have been slipping for decades now and the only thing predictably normal about the weather this last couple of years is that it’s NOT:/

  3. Here in northern Wisconsin we were pretty frigid too, though Monday was worse because there was significant wind. I am very much looking forward to the “warm up” coming this weekend.

    And by the way, “awful majestic bleakness of mid winter” is a wonderful, evocative turn of phrase.

  4. Funny ducks! You’d think they’d all sit together like King Penguins, for warmth. Perhaps their duck fat works like an oil filled radiator…

  5. After two days of temps in the teens and twenties we head back into the 50s and 60s this weekend and will stay there a while!!! Yaahhhooo!!! 🙂
    Loved the duck roundup clip!!!

  6. The wind on the video made me cold listening to it. We have an exceptionally warm November so far and the air quality is not very good. I hope you get lost in the in-between of those alternate universes. Income is a good thing to have coming in on a regular basis. Hope everyone is staying toasty warm.

  7. Funny ducks under beautiful skies. I sure don’t envy those minus temperatures that sounds like toes-dropsy-off weather to me. We are quietly celebrating 108mm(4ins) of rain over the past week with more on the way. You keep warm in USA. Laura

  8. We are staring down the other end of your weather. Hot, dry, windy, and multiple, horrendous, deadly bushfires. Over in Western Australia, they are looking at temperatures in the mid 40sC/110F, and it’s *spring*. There is No rain anywhere on any horizon for the foreseeable future. Whatever the cause, the seasons are most definitely shifting and becoming more extreme. Stay safe and warm, Miss C, and watch your step on that ice.

    • Mid 40’s is horrible. Good Lord. I never thought that parts of Australia would be one of the places people would be migrating FROM. But that is not sustainable. The resources needed just to live there must be massive – contributing to even more damage. Poor people.

      • Most of Australia’s not that hospitable anyway! But yes, send us your climate change doubters; they can see it in action right here… We don’t generally freeze to death much, but we sure can offer plenty of sunshine.

  9. I love how the ducks sit on their feet to warm them up… very sensible.
    November weather is renowned for being all over the shop but right now it feels ridiculous… snow and wildfires in the US while here on the east coast of NSW we have areas to the south also where it’s snowing however further north where we are at the same time our onite temps still down under 10 C… the other morning at 6 am the outside but under cover thermometer read zero degrees but with days into mid to high 30’s, low humidity, bushfires and as Kate mentioned no indication that there’ll be significant rain any time soon.

  10. Hello, Ceci ! Loved the video of your little “snow ducks”! Thanks for including it and thanks to someone who mentioned the sound of the wind….I didn’t know there was sound, so I turned my speakers on and WOW! The first photo of the sun on your snow-laden fields looks almost like it’s from another universe, too! Stay safe and warm, dear friend!

  11. Yes, very cold here too, broke the record both last night and the night before for low temperatures. The hill is a sheet of ice after the snow and it looks like I’ll be staying in till it melts. Stay warm!!

  12. What a pleasure, lying down in the evening and catching up with your blog, marvelling at the wonder of the wheat that can brave the chill of winter, tracking Dell’s drying off, sympathising at the extreme cold and smiling to read that you will be coming to NZ in January. Even if I don’t comment I am here and enjoying the evolving life of the farm. Thank you for being such a faithful blogger.

  13. oh brrrr…my goodness me those ducks are tough little guys. Love the video!

  14. Too cold too soon here too, Cecilia. Just West of Boston, I naively ordered some Lily bulbs, thinking there’d be a window of opportunity before the ground froze. I should know better. I do feel badly for the waterfowl in Winter. Have been lugging warm oatmeal through the woods to my swan friends for 24 years now ~ this year, no one to visit, sadly. Thanks for listening. Stay warm!

      • My dear friend William, whom I have known for 23 years, died two years ago this April. His partner Bella went off and found a new mate and brought him back to meet me. They had babies, which were all eaten (as well as William’s babies 9 of them! A first, there are usually 6. His legacy, gone so quickly. I think Snapping Turtles). So when Bella&Buzz (funny names but it suits him and stuck) came to me without cygnets, 14 babies lost in two years, I put my boot down and said, “I love you, but you must leave this place.” And so they did. Every morning I pray for their safety. I miss them like crazy. Thanks for listening, Cecilia. Have written the story down, but it’s a long read, and am stuck at the moment, with shortening it at all…

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