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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our First Real Nor'easter and other things Christmassy

A few days late, the snow finally came.  It was something to wake up and see the world coated in gentle mounds of crystal white.  The flakes fell in picture postcard vignette, large and soft like drifting on the breeze like eider down.  (Sadly the snow didn't last and it began to rain, so Ron put away the keys to the John Deere and surfed the weather reports which were calling for another 30 cm of snow over the next 24 hours.)

Such a pastoral description (as outlined above) doesn't actually describe a nor'easter, oh no.  We're in the middle of one right now.  The windows of the house are mostly pancaked with snow blown aggressively against the pains by a wind that's as capricious as the most impish of elves.  One side of the trees are completely clear and the other sides are plastered with icy snow.  It's truly not fit for the proverbial man nor beast.

We did get to witness an amusing little squirrel ritual.  We watched Heathcliffe tunnelling in the snow.  This entailed a small ridge of disturbed snow rising mysteriously from the ground, to be followed by his little red head popping up through the crust intermittently.  (Whether to get his bearings or fresh air, I can't be certain.)  To give you more of a visual description, it was a bit like watching a swimmer do the breast stroke.  Once he did this a couple of times he would turn around and make sure the part of the tunnel he'd already created was holding, by running all the way back to the tree line, turning around and starting the whole process all over again.  It took him a good five minutes to tunnel to the house, run along the side and get to the pine tree out the side kitchen window.  Once he had achieved this goal he want back to the fir trees via his new construction project and disappeared.  I guess it's better to have an escape route than not, but we haven't seen him use it again, at least up to this point.  We also have a wood pecker (yet to be named) who seems to be more of a ground pecker, at least the times I've seen him.  Ron says he does actually peck the trees, but I've never seen or heard it.  I wish I had a better camera, so I could get a picture of the birds we have...the blue jays are beautiful and the wood pecker has a lovely rusty red crest, not to mention all the sweet little birds (some of which I think are chickadees) that come to the bird feeder.  They're all very shy and nervous, unlike Heathcliffe, who tends to bully them if they get too close to his stash of food.

In other news, I roasted my first whole turkey (hard to believe, I know, but it's true!) for Christmas dinner and made cranberry sauce and stuffing and all the other fixin's.  Here's a picture of the bird and some other stuff:
This one just because it's pretty.

The goose, er...turkey, is cooked!

Fixin's: Roast 'tatoes, veg, stuffing & gravy
I'm a gravy fiend, so I made enough for 6 people, but it's mostly gone now.  One dinner and a hot turkey sandwich pretty well took care of it.  Ron and I opted not to trade gifts this year.  (Heck, we got a brand new snow blower...that's gift enough, I dare say.)  We had a lovely day and visited with some new acquaintances later in the evening (having had an early supper).  We're adjusting to the concept of dinner and supper as opposed to lunch and dinner but I still slip up frequently and say dinner instead of supper which can cause some confusion if you're trying to make plans.

Ron's coming in from clearing off the car; presumably so there's less to clear off tomorrow, when I head back to work.  We're looking forward to a quiet New Years and wondering if we will indeed even make it until midnight...we'll let you know. (PS the weather forecast has been updated to only 15 cm of need for the snow blower...poor Ron.)

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