Category Archives: winter

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

It has been most of the winter since James and I went out to take photos. The cold has kept us pretty close to home. Last week with the weather breaking for warmer temps we headed out. I thought I’d a share the favorite of the group and the one that is going to be printed in the local newspaper.

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Spring 2017, a dozen and more projects.

This winter, while not as cold as some, the cold has lasted. Nightly, falling well below zero neighbors across the state have had frozen water and drains. Not just those in rural areas but towns and cities have had water simply creep to a frozen standstill. Up here on the mountain water has remained the same for us. Off grid certainly has its advantages.

The cold has however, eaten up the wood stack impressively. Last week when the weather gave us a break and we got above freezing it was cause for days outside. A dozen spring projects to began in a flurry of activity not seen since the last few days before the snow arrived. img_20170121_193401_714The unsold wreaths came down to start with. The ornaments and now dry boughs were all unwound and put away for next season. Thor decided the big ones made great beds after a day chasing snow balls and helping haul wood.

Large boxes from costso we turned into new indoor nest boxes for the ladies. They loved them at once and eggs started to show up.

img_20170121_192921_172The big dead tree by the driveway came down, was bucked up, hauled up the driveway via sled, and split. Shane came up to cut down the old Pondarosa as my chainsaws have deiced to stop running. They are both in need of carburetor, work so they look useful, but for now they do little. James and I saw to the rest of the tree and got it all stacked in one long afternoon. The beetle killed pine split so easy we had to remind ourselves not to chop it too small.

The deck had to be shoveled of snow and ice from almost record breaking snow fall. Of course a sled hill had to be tested… img_20170131_195319_546…sticks had to be tested for strength and bonfires had to be built.

We had four glorious sunfilled days before the snow returned last night and buried us under another foot. We will be back inside the rest of the week finishing up the long overdue sheet-rock in the Little Cabin.

Yesterday, however, was stunning. I woke up to a dozen types of birds all greeting spring, chipmunks were chirping, and the squirrels shouting their chatter. Thor hasn’t been so excited to get outside since the snow first arrived. I let him out and sat down to have coffee before James woke up.

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After seeing to morning chores it was warm enough out the greenhouse to sit down for projects without even needing to build a fire.

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The beadwork my grandma had started before she passed away this fall I finished while the chickens debated if it was truly spring or not.Craft supplies from the last homeschool kid co-op visit were sorted and put back in their drawers, and most of the glitter swept up. (I doubt it will ever be truly all gone. By time that happens I am sure a handful of little girls will be back for another art workshop.)

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Thor on guard duty. he likes the snow this year if for no other reason than he can sit up very high and watch the driveway.

Waking up to snow this morning was very pretty but I will be glad for the next day with sunshine and thawing weather. I count the days to get the first seeds into the ground int he greenhouse. The thermometer is in the ground. It will be soon.

 

James (Oz) turned 13

The plan had been for sledding and hot coco, but with sleds in hand we discovered that the 6 inches of new snow was too soft.  We sank in and went nowhere.  Discarding that plan idea for another we wandered off to make a new one.

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Oz thought it quite fun to try and knock snow off the trees onto his mother, and if not me then the dog.

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After a few near misses we decided maybe we should hike up and see if we could find a better spot to sled, something much steeper where soft snow would be a benefit not a game ender.

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We both discovered that we had out cell phones in our coat pockets… bad idea when sledding, shame on us both,… and thought it might be fun to see if we hiked all the way up to the top if we picked up any service.

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Oz took the led and we headed straight up a very steep slope.  Knee deep and having to hold onto trees to keep from sliding and crashing backwards we hiked, and hiked and … crawled is a better word… up the mountain.

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Soaked and starting to feel the strain in the claves Oz decided it was time to head back down besides, cake was waiting! Of course his method, which I advise against especially if you are alone or not in your own back yard, was straight down!

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He learned that there is a lot of hidden ‘treasures’ in the snow, and not all of them feel so great when you slide over them.

If you look real close you can spot the Little Cabin

If you look real close you can spot the Little Cabin

At the bottom snow angels were attempted but of course Thor thought Pounce a more fun.

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and of course more snow had to come down.

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A change of clothes, dry socks and a bit of standing near the fireplace and the presents and cake came out.  As we are a board game kid of family I had to fill in a few gaps, Clue and Monopoly had too be added to the basics. The games ensued.

jan 15 001For the first time ever I was the first one out, but Oz and Shane played for hours.  Heading to bed Oz flopped down and before falling asleep… almost at once… he said “thanks, mom, that was a fun day.” What a great way to end the day.

Snow Day

The unreasonable cold of the bearing straight has passed and left us with more typical weather for this time of year.  Misty drizzly rain.  While normally I gear up and hike out, loving the cool weather, the smell of the mountains and the chance for great images of water drops I have been doing very little other than curling up in bed and adding wood to the fire. Yep, its that time of year… I have a cold.

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I had a tiny one trying o take hold when I went over the mountains, but a day in the wind and an earache has set it into a level that I hope wont last for month.  Having a sluggish and often confused immune system often means a cold lasts for months.  I remain optimistic though and hope that my heath has improved enough this last year that I will be surprised and wake up all better very soon.

Last night the rain turned to snow for a bit and then to freezing rain.  Its a wet heavy white world out there now.

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I made coffee and hiked down to Shane’s.  The booster to get our shared internet up to the cabin is not set up yet so I have to trek down to get online, and due to lack of finding enough copper pipe and refusing to buy new, my hot water system is not set up, so for modern convince aka internet and showers, down the mountain I go.  It gives me a chance to take pictures even when I’m not feeling up to a hike.

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The snow is so wet and heavy it was sliding off the trees all around, but most of them just out of camera shot or I was just too slow to catch it.

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I think today I will try to find my grid paper and begin the work on the plans for the root cellar and chicken coop that WILL go in next year.

Walk to the Creek

Oz convinced me this morning, because its warmer now at 20°, to go for a walk with him down to the creek.  It might say 20° at the house but it is much colder down by the water.  The sun is far behind the mountain so deep in the valley so the creek is cast in a chilled twilight.

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The frost in the shadows here builds up nightly,  making some rather fantastic creations.

nov 2014 004nov 2014 003Once under the cedars and next to the creek it felt as if the temperature dropped even further than is was just in the mountains shadow.

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As expected the first thing to happen was the boy and the dogs went skidding across the ice.

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Only then did they set to exploring.

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Most all of the creek  is frozen over.  Only a few pockets remain open.

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This hole stayed open last winter until it was nearly -40°.

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At this point my camera was getting cold it enough it kept an error reading.  I managed to get a few more shots before heading back up the mountain to the Little Cabin and the fire place.

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