Last Sunday (4 days ago) snow fell in an unusually heavy manner. The temperature also dropped rapidly. It's been 15 degrees C here at night pretty much since.
To care for the outdoor animals, I've been hauling hot water out to the chicken coup. I also lock the hens up at night, out of the wind inside their roosting area, where there's a heat lamp. The grateful rabbit was moved into a smaller cage with them, when he usually lives on the south side of our house.
For the wild birds, I've been setting out a warm pan of water but it freezes over in a few hours time. I imagine it's very hard for the finches to find drinking water that's not frozen. The birds continue to visit the feeders that I've moved up onto the back porch, to keep the seed dry.
Sitting by my own heater, I'm reminiscing of the day I took this photo, last April: (double click to enlarge it).
It's difficult to imagine that tulip and daffodil bulbs (below ground) could survive the harsh cold but season after season we know they do come back; they are alive under all that snow. The pond now is mostly iced over. I can still see the koi swimming slowly below the thin sheet. I feel so thankful that spring will come again (in five more months)!