Tag Archives: snow

Unexpected Colour

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On the walk to town…

At first, it seems as if the world has gone all monochromatic on you… And then, the subtle splashes of colour appear…

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Pinecones

 

Winter Walk – Canmore, Alberta

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When the temperature shoots up to a balmy -16C it’s time to bundle up and head outside! It’s strange how the body remembers things from childhood…

  1. How snow squeaks underfoot when the temperatures dip
  2. How hard it is to get the scarf just right – too high, your glasses fog up, too low, your nose and cheeks freeze.
  3. How you feel like the Michelin Man with all those layers on.
  4. How cold your fingers get when you take off your gloves.
  5. How your lungs cringe when you sprint for the traffic light.
  6. The perpetually runny nose.
  7. Stepping inside and instantly being bathed in sweat under all those layers.
  8. The speed with which your glasses fog up when you come inside.
  9. The brilliant burn of sun on snow.
  10. Those mountains, in their fine white cloaks.
  11. The sheer delight of being out there when it’s really too cold to be out there.

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Hens in the snow

Hens in the snow

The chickens are definitely under-impressed with all the snow over the past couple of days. As am I, to be honest. The worst part of this deluge has been the strange nature of the precipitation – a mix of rain, snow, ice pellet, and sleet. It’s just warm enough that there’s a good foot of slush in places and plenty of running (gushing) water everywhere. It’s just cold enough that the snow is sticking and making it horrible to walk/carry hay/function outside.

It is now pouring as I write this… if the temperatures creep up over night, much of this mess will have washed away by morning. If the temperatures go the other way… oh, my – I don’t even want to think about the mess my hill will be by the time morning rounds roll around… Yuck!

Poor M. C. from Germany thought he’d come to Vancouver Island because it’s relatively warm and snow free. Hah!! Instead he wound up having to build bridges out of logs and pallets so we could safely navigate the deep mud slushy in the hog pen. So much for my ‘start seeds’ and ‘prepare garden beds’ plan…

Large Black Hogs in the Snow

Inside their hog hut, Pearl and Olivia build fluffy nests out of hay and then burrow in and snuggle up together. They seem to be dealing with the nasty weather remarkably well, all things considered.

Photo Friday -2

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Waiting – Could a New Year Be Just Around the Corner?

Waiting for spring...

Waiting for spring…

2013 is on the way out the door and I find myself in an odd restless state of waiting. Waiting… for something. The lengthening days make me eager for days long and warm enough to start planting. A change of the calendar page makes me want to start re-organizing, re-thinking the farm. (A break of a few days was a not-so-subtle reminder that every second of every day does not necessarily have to be spent working…) On a very practical level, we are waiting for visitors to arrive and travelling family members to return home.

After the short break over Christmas, it’s time to think about getting back to work on the newest book project (about trees – I am very excited! Expect some tree photos to pepper posts over the next while…). Though, when I think about work, I feel like I should move my desk out of my bedroom. Feng shui experts would be horrified to see me working away in my calm/resting space. There is a great spot, underutilized at the moment, in my new living room/dining nook where I could get set up. There are huge windows right in front of where I’d put my desk so I could look outside and keep an eye on the hens.

There are projects galore awaiting my attention, but the only way to make real headway is to stop. Take stock. Consider. Plan. And then move forward. See how things are going until the next stopping point comes along. Repeat.

Delicate LeavesSee you all next year!! 

[For anyone keeping NaBloPoMo score… I DID IT!! I can’t quite believe that somehow through all the chaos of this month I managed to spew something every day! Even better than the spewing, though, was the reading and friendship-forming while I was exploring all those other blogs! It has been a lot of fun to discover so many bloggers doing so many interesting things in far-flung corners of the globe. Thanks so much for visiting – I’m looking forward to continuing our conversations in 2014!]

Wintery Walk in Kelowna

Until we arrived, there hadn’t been a whole lot of snow in Kelowna. One afternoon, though, there was a sudden flurry, which sent me scurrying outside with a camera.

Lantern in SnowWith the heavy cloud cover and swirling snowflakes, both sound and light were muted and even without converting to black and white, the world did appear in soft shades of muted grey.

Tree BarkExcept, of course, these trees… I think they are Douglas Fir Ponderosa Pine trees, but maybe Kelowna locals (or tree buffs) can help me out [thank you Karen, for your comment. I knew someone would set me straight)! Brilliant red blistering hot against the cool backdrop – they were spectacular.

BarkClose-up, the bark seemed ancient and very alive surrounded by all that wintery dormancy.

It was such a pleasure to take a good camera (thanks, Dad!) and wander around with no purpose other than to take a few photos. Though my iphone is great and does an amazing job of capturing the many moments of the everyday, it’s a whole other experience to be outside looking, looking, looking. Everything seems suddenly fascinating in a way I rarely take time to notice.

Icy WaterNote to self: More photo walks next year, please. That was fun!

Welcome, Babar! Go Away, Snow! (NABLOPOMO)

Welcome, good sir...

Welcome, good sir…

Babar the Cotswold ram arrived today and is now in with the ewes to be bred. Given it was a perpetual motion kind of day, it’s actually a minor miracle I managed to get this quick (terrible) shot when our new boy arrived in the sheep shelter. It didn’t help that he had no interest in posing, but immediately dove into the grain bucket…

After polishing off the few morsels of grain left in the tub, he shot out the door and chased the girls around. I'm sure he's thinking he's arrived in a pretty cool place!

After polishing off the few morsels of grain left in the tub, he shot out the door and chased the girls around. I’m sure he’s thinking he’s arrived in a pretty cool place! This did not, however, make for a relaxed photo session.

Rushing around for the humans continued after the ram delivery – had to do a bit of Christmas shopping (it’s never too late to get started…) and then convince all the Christmas turkeys that, yes, they really were going to bunk up together even though they hardly know the rejects from the breeding group. How, exactly, they can tell each other apart, I don’t know – but they certainly keep track of who’s who and today there was an awful lot of restructuring going on in the turkey hierarchy.

Then, the rest of the evening chores by headlamp as the turkey rodeo went on for far too long and darkness overtook me before I was done… A very long sigh when I spotted Olivia’s piglets ambling around nonchalantly with the adult hogs (what!?). Nothing to be done at that point except open up all the gates between the pens to make sure everyone could find room in a proper shelter during the night.

Good thing I did so because when I went down to the barn to do the late hay rounds for the horses and goats, it looked like the farm had been transplanted into the inside of a snow globe.Okay. Thank you. That's enough snow now... Okay. Thank you. That’s enough snow now…

No relief in sight (except, perhaps, for the snow… the temperatures are supposed to stay mild, so I doubt this will stick around for long). Busy, busy for the next few days and right into the holidays. Despite myself, I am feeling most definitely festive!