I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Make a suet cake for the birds.

It was a frigid one degree when we got up this morning.  I filled the bird feeders last night, as the birds eat heartily when it's this cold out.

I have memories of my mom asking the butcher for "suet" that she could give the birds.  In those days, they gave it away.  For this suet cake, I simply used the grease I had left over in the refrigerator from all of the cooking we did over the Christmas holiday.  I scooped the grease into a large Ziplock bag and added birdseed.  It was easy to mix without getting grease everywhere.
After mixing thoroughly, I squeezed the mixture into a small baking pan and stuck it in the freezer overnight.  A quick dip in a bowl of hot water loosened the cake enough to get it out of the pan. 
I tied a ribbon around it in order to hang it up and left it for the birds at the feeding station.
It was an instant hit!
Up until last week, the temperatures had been extraordinarily warm, but a quick layer of ice covered fields and forest alike; making it harder for the birds to find food.
We have several gold finches that stay all winter long.  They seem to drink more water than the other birds, so I purchased a low voltage electric water dish (presumably for dogs), and plugged it in near the feeder.
On a day like this, it's a treat to sit by the wood stove and watch the birds!

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