Monday, January 20, 2014

An Old Fashioned Winter

Cats have a tough life, don't they?

December 10.  The first "Polar Vortex" dumped lake effect snow on us nearly every day.  It makes for beautiful scenery, but when you have to plow or blow it every day it loses a bit of its charm.

Ilkka listening to the weather radio.  Highs in the low single digits all week.

December 14

Gunnar with his ladies, Helga and Sonja.

A patch of blue sky, a rarity in December.

Our snow doesn't just drift high, it also drifts low.

For you folk who suffer from snow deprivation and have never seen snow drift over your windows, you might think this is fluffy stuff.  It isn't.  It's dense, windpacked and you have to cut it off with a shovel to get it down.  You need the right conditions - lots of loose snow, plenty of wind and prolonged subzero temperatures.

The whole Kilpela clan.

Joulun aatonaaton ateria.  We had to have our traditional Christmas eve dinner a day early while everyone was still available.

Kinkkua, perunamuusia, riisiporkkanalaatikoa, rosolia, salaattia, jne.

Singing Christmas carols in English and Finnish.


Gwen introduced us to the game Pillagers of Catan and sort of explained the rules to us as we went along.  


A female pileated woodpecker enjoying an apple in our front yard.  Males have a red moustache, females black.

I was happy to have a new goose down parka to wear when I'm feeding the sheep at ten below.  That fluffy snow you see on the trees isn't that fluffy.  You have to shake the branches hard to knock it loose and it falls like big chunks of concrete.

Skijoring with Kalevi and Savu

Playing Finnish scrabble.  Ilkka requisitioned the box for a bed.

Our outdoor Christmas tree

January 9. 2014

Our hayshed with a month's worth of snow on it.  Although it has a steel roof, the early snow started with freezing rain, so the snow did not slide off the surface.

Jonathan blowing out grandpa's driveway with our tractor.

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