I just wanted to record the lowest temperature we've seen here, which was last night at about 8 p.m., when the weather station in our yard recorded 11 degrees F. That is mighty cold for this coastal area! We survived the overnight chill, thanks to keeping the water dripping in three sinks in the house and fires going in both fireplaces. The chickens and ducks also fared well enough. I'm not sure yet about our honey bees. I'm not too hopeful that they will survive the winter, as it's been cold so many nights in a row. They are California bees, used to mild winters where they can keep foraging all year. Hope you are all keeping warm.
The first big snowstorm to hit our area arrived overnight. When we moved here five years ago, everyone we talked with in town said it never snows here. They said we're too coastal for snow. Well, Mother Nature decided to prove them wrong, giving us an astounding 6-18 inches of snow each and every year since then. Today, the snow has accumulated to 8 inches. The sky still looks dark, leading us to think we may see more. Then, the temperatures will dip into the teens over the next couple of days, something we haven't had here before. There are a few measures we take when it snows or when the temperatures dip below freezing after learning some lessons the hard way. For example, we leave the water dripping in the downstairs sinks at night to avoid frozen pipes. Everything's also insulated way more than in the past; leaving a slow trickle of water dripping is just added protection. We also put a bucket over the water shut-off valve in the yard, so we can find it later on if nece