Windows open today…

For the first time since sometime in November, and not a moment too soon.

We’re headed into another warm afternoon, which is good because what I worked hard last summer to achieve is actually becoming a small first-world problem at the moment…

If you want a well-insulated structure, get it done by a builder from Minnesota or Anchorage or somewhere in Siberia, and then don’t argue with him. If you disagree about what’s necessary for proper insulation, it only means you’re wrong.

On the other hand, when you’re a desert hermit who basically doesn’t bathe all that much during the winter, sealing up your new bedroom addition like a cleanroom means that after a while it’s gonna get funky like an actual animal lair. Curiously, when the Lair was just one room with a loft I didn’t have this problem.

The Lair airs right out when I can open the windows, which I have just now done for the first time since sometime in November, I think.

Busy morning, in a good way. Got the sheets changed, blankets aired, bread baked.

Now the windows are wide open and I’m typing in a sweater while the cabin airs out.

The weather forecast may be wrong, but it’s encouraging. I’ll still be using a water bowl for the hens in the Fortress of Attitude because their water still freezes overnight. But the Big Chickenhouse stays warmer, so I can resume use of their waterer.

Which in turn means I can go back to two food bowls, which will reduce some stress at feeding for the less assertive hens.


You want to see something funny? This happened at the cattle watering station yesterday evening…

So here’s this yearling Muley, just slightly more than a spike. Apparently all alone. Minding his business, officer, not bothering anybody.

Uh oh. Here comes Mean Cop.

“I was just leaving.”

“Yeah, I’ll just slide on by here…”

“Like hell you will. Empty your pockets!”

“I’m outta here…”

But then in the same time stamp, hardly before the roostertails of dust had settled…

…here came the yearling back again.

Sauntered up to the trough like he had not one care in the world.

And I expected to see a replay when the big buck came back, but…

Whatever his point had been, he seemed to consider it made. There was no more drama between them at all.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Windows open today…

  1. Phssthpok says:


    The Rut (should be) long past gone…shouldn’t antlers have dropped by now?

  2. Joel says:

    I honestly don’t know when muleys drop their antlers.

  3. Mike says:

    That young one would make good eats.

  4. Mule deer (and elk) drop their antler in the Spring – usually co-inciding with their urge to move back into high country. There’s probably triggers like the sun cycle and nutritional availability – hormones too – I’m sure.

    Joel – you’ve mentioned the deer being displaced by the cattle. Not wanting to be contrary – but the change you see may be more co-incidence than displacement. When it’s available to them – deer and elk migrate to high county for the Summer.

    A week ago I came around the corner of one of our buildings and came face to face with a healthy, well-appointed Muley buck. He didn’t spook and I quickly figured he’d found some corn and grain in a bird feeder in the tree he was under. It was good to get a long look at something like that for a few minutes but I remembered what a PITA those same creatures are when it comes to developing fruit trees. They usually keep to the edges of the developed part of the property – we discourage any further confidence on their part.

    After 16 lucky years here a pack of Javelina discovered the property a couple months ago. There had been a couple sightings of single males in that time but this last time he brought his family back with him. They range over a wide area but seem to have developed a habit of stopping by every few days to decimate a few large stands of Prickly Pear nearby. They’re actually kinda’ cute in a way – but troublesome in every other respect. Thankfully they haven’t discovered the outdoor composting enclosure (yet)! It’s been a running project lately to teach them new habits. I’m not looking forward to having them around in the Spring when I start watering trees. That wet ground and vegetation will be irresistible to them.

  5. anonymous says:

    We live waay down south, so when Winter hits us, not nearly what happens up there. We don’t EVER turn on the heat, so after a couple of weeks of central air not working, air gets a bit funky. We just open the window and using a box fan sitting on the sill, air it out, exchanging the outside fresh air for old. Forced air works better then occasional wind gusts.

    PNO – we have javelina on our property and they don’t cause nearly the damage feral hog do. This document from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department pretty much mirrors what we observe here.

  6. Ben says:

    “a desert hermit who basically doesn’t bathe all that much during the winter.”

    It probably isn’t that Joel is unusually fragrant. Joel’s Lair has a fraction of the air volume of the average home, plus he has obviously sealed it up well against air intrusion. So that means that the normal funk resulting from human (and dog) occupation will build up quickly. The winter cure will be cracked windows, especially when he has a wood fire going. The chimney draft should draw out the funk.

  7. Kentucky says:

    Just out of curiosity, do you ever see cattle at the “cattle watering station”?

  8. Joel says:

    Funny you should ask. They’re there every day during the warm months, but they get rounded up and hauled off somewhere else during winter. I thought I had another month, but Neighbor L told me she saw livestock trailers this morning and then a bunch of cattle showed up at the watering station.

  9. Kentucky says:

    Based on your 2/2/18 post, yes, yes you do.

To the stake with the heretic!