After we got back from the museum Mama and Elijah took a rest while me and the big boys headed out to spend some time in the yard. How could we not: it was positively springlike! Coats didn't last long.
Our museum trip also included a stop and the feed store to pick up some straw for the chickens, and when we brought it back to them we saw that they really needed it: melting snow combined with the ice dams all around their run had turned it into kind of a toxic swamp. Several pounds of straw gave them some drier footing, and while the boys spread it I did my best to get the snow off the roof of the run to stop it melting and pouring down. Then we set ourselves to draining the swamp.
Besides the yuck factor and the fact that an inch or two of water on top of ice outside the run door made it very tricky to get in and out of the coop, Harvey and I realized that we'd be even more trouble when it turned cold again: the door would be frozen in solid! But we were able to chop a channel down towards the raspberry bushes, and had fun pushing the water along it.
It wasn't all hard work, though: we had some time to play in the woods.
And to just be silly!
Our work paid off, too: our channel took the puddle outside the coop from this:
to this, the next morning:
At that point the door could also open wider than at any point in the last couple months! Of course, this morning we woke up to steadily falling snow, so winter's got a couple more good days in her, but we very much enjoyed the spring preview.