Monday, December 24, 2012

The little snowman house

Snowman House
This little snowman house is special. It has survived a couple of decades after my mother made it in a ceramics class at a local park. So it is fragile . Like life in a way. It has traveled nearly 3000 miles bouncing around in the back of a 26 foot Uhaul. That is a miracle in itself that it made it here in one piece. Decorations and keepsakes always have a story . This little snowman house has it's story and it is sweet. I hope this holiday brings sweetness into your life too.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lengthening Days

Frosted Foothills
Many people imagine that January is a gloomy month. However for me getting through November and the first three weeks of December is the chore. The days are getting shorter and are grey more than not. After the Winter Solstice we start adding minutes to the day as the Northern Hemisphere tilts back towards the warmth of the Sun. Many folks think that the seasons are caused by our relative distance to the sun. However we have the changing of the seasons due to the 23.45 degree tilt of the Earth's Axis. Our position in the grand ellipse around the Sun has little effect. How amazing that a slight nod towards the Sun can create our warm summer season allowing us to grow food.
Sun riding low in the Southern Skies
 For now the northern reaches of the Swan Range lies sleepily beneath this years' snowfall. The valley is sunny while the foothills have their own weather events at 7000 feet.
Wheat sleeping beneath the snow
 The promise of a crop this spring as the snow nourishes the seeds and protects them from frigid over night temperatures .
Strawberry Mountain Gleaming in the distance
Finishing the journey home Strawberry Mountain is glowing with the recent snow. I particularly enjoy the cloud play.
Snow shoeing on the access road to Strawberry Mountain
A fine end to the day before night fall over takes the daylight. A bit of snow shoeing up the access road to Strawberry Mountain. I recently snagged a pair on sale at Sierra Trading Post . So far they work pretty good. With a beautiful sky above and a foot of snow under my feet , it couldn't be better. A good day to face the sun and appreciate the warmth. Say hello!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunshine and shoveling

Digging the path
After 16 inches of snow Friday and Saturday morning the Sun broke through the clouds and the morning work was admired. A path was made to the drive and the ritual of piling the snow has begun. Key to the summer survey is where to put the snow in the winter. I am lucky as there are several areas to "pile".Also key to the strategy is to shovel the snow while it is still soft. We had a nice day Friday in the high 20s as the powder accumulated. Saturday was also balmy however over night to Sunday morning it went to 14 degrees. Powder is definitely easier to move than snow frozen over and over. This comes back to the whole philosophy of making hay while the sun is shining. Or something like that adapted to snow. 
roof glacier
 People from the East marvel that I have no gutters. Well if I did put them on they would just be ripped off during winter. Likewise when putting a chimney on the roof , the closer to the apex the better as said roof glacier delights in ripping off chimneys as well. Icicles above dance in the afternoon  sunlight with lots of rainbows in the shifting light .
Western Larch dressed in snow
The Western Larch is bare for the winter but today dressed in a snow gown. Many a newby has accidentally cut all of their larch in the winter thinking they are dead. These Evergreens are also deciduous in that they shed their needles in the Fall creating a golden landscape along the lower elevations of the Mountains.My daughter and her BF were here late September . They helped with clearing some of the extra brush . We made two big piles of brush. My best intentions were to have it chipped up before snow however now I am glad I am tardy in my chores. The local deer population has been munching on the conveniently low branches now that the snow is covering so much of the grasses. They seem to enjoy the soft bark and remaining green needles.
Evening Rays
A fine end to a day of working outside. The sun casts some golden rays our way painting the tips of the trees as sunset nears.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wordless Saturday


12 inches later

While I was at work the weather was up to some mischief. It snowed all day at work over in the Valley. I knew that if it was heavy in town then out at the homestead it would be more. Along the Swan Mountains it is the snow belt . Generally we have at least twice the snow as town . Last March we had a foot over night and when I drove into town it was raining . So same Lantern but tonight it is standing next to a foot of snow on the deck. Roads were quite tolerable but the last 1000 feet of the dirt road was not plowed. Very sad news for the corolla. However the corolla was brave and flew up the dirt road in great style , the garage door opened with a touch of the button and we landed safely inside. What an adventure. Now the only thing to do was to hike to the house 100 feet away  and dig a path to the door . Tonight the odds are with the Mountain Lion. A foot of snow really slows you down during the dash to the house. The snow is great in the winter as it gathers the available star and moonlight. This  makes the long winter nights less dreary.
A very good nite to all . Safely inside and munching a sandwich with hot tea!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

100% Snow

 So driving home without a care in the world after work. The sky is cloudy and the sun has set but the roads are dry and we are moving right along. When suddenly someone switches on the snow button. By the time I hit Woody's the Snow was coming down pretty convincingly. So the last 8 miles was driven with care. I don't have my snow legs yet and didn't want to be the first one in the ditch looking stupid.
 Ahhh the dash to the front porch form the Garage. About 80 feet . Always the question. Will I get there before the cat ? Not just any cat but the nice Mountain Lion in residence. Now that the ground has snow cover he won't be able to sneak around without being noticed.
 More snow and expecting I would suspect a lot more since the weather folks said 100%  chance of snow. Of course that begs the question of 100% of what?
 The Most coveted Marley. Out for a snow romp with the other dogs . I took a picture of them but they looked like red eyed demon dogs so we aren't putting that pic in the blog. scary. But there was a lot of snow licking and racing about being quite crazy in the frozen precipitation.
For now good night. My brave LED lantern lights the way on these final cold days of 2012. But are they the final days or will 2013 greet us just around the corner. What do you think as we hurtle towards the Galactic Center?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Shameless promotion

John and Jen
I have to make some noise about an artist I know quite well. He is truly the Renaissance Man. Earning a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Masters in Art to teach science, he produces wonderful creations. His expertise ranges from Painting to making Furniture. And I do mean furniture the old school way. Well made and beautifully chosen woods that will last a lifetime and more. I have a few of these and cherish all of them. As we well know most Artists are not famous in their lifetime. However he is too much of a treasure not to share. His name is John and his link to his blog is below. If you need a nice wood rolling pin or candlesticks visit his link  for his blog.  johnhunterdesigns

He has an  Etsy shop here