From Eastern Iowa. We here are headed for what seems one of the harder winters since the 50's. I remember those well. Been a long time since I have been through one. Last year hit some records for us and this year may be worse. Here's what is bugging me and a question. Since returning to Iowa in 1985 we have lived in a rural area on a farm we purchased. While not hippies or "Greens" we have pursued an alternative lifestyle of no chemicals, back to nature type of junk. Don't get me wrong, I kill things and pee in the yard like most people. If I got bad bugs I will reach for the Killer Can like everybody else. Until this year, for 22 years we have routinely fed winter birds. We have counted 23 different species who have utilized our feeders, late fall through winter and into spring migration, to and including the hawks who prey on the birds we feed. We elected not to feed this year because of the exorbitant prices of cracked corn, sunflower hearts, thistle, peanuts and the cost of making foods like tallow balls (suet) We have saved a lot of money and don't have the mice problems and squirrel problems we have had. Here is the kicker though. We have had round after round of snow, ice, sleet and wind. The birds are there, they just aren't getting a hand out. The long range forecast is for extreme weather clear up to spring. Those few years it has been somewhat bad we would see upwards of a 100 pheasants and wild turkeys feeding along with the numerous songbirds. I know they would probably do fine without us but I am getting a guilty conscience. Have any of you pulled out of feeding? Have any of you found cheaper feeds or food stuffs? Have you ever started late and what experience have you had in attracting birds at this later date? Yap at me if ya want. I am looking out the window and there is a junco looking back at me and the temp just crawled to 1* above zero. Poor little devil looks hungry. John.