Friday, December 16, 2016

Late November

With a layer of snow on the ground it was time to burn the brushpile.

The ice on the pond wasn't strong enough to skate on.  I walked out on it, heard a loud crack, and walked back to shore.

This year I wanted to use my brown ram Ragnar to breed the ewes, so I needed to isolate my other ram, Gunnar.  I covered his pen with burlap so that he would not be able to see Ragnar sporting with the harem.

The cattle panels take quite a beating, but this year Gunnar did not break out.

Ragnar had the ewes to himself for 16 days before I let Gunnar free again.  As you can see in the picture, rams like to rub their horns against saplings like bucks do in the fall.

Fire fascinates us.  Nothing draws a crowd like a burning building.

It both is beautiful and frightening.

And powerful.  A good servant, but a bad master.

Thanksgiving 2016

First snow

The pilgrims arrived.

Carving the turkey.

with stuffing.

Sweet potatoes.

Mashed potatoes.

Cranberry sauce made from wild cranberries is sooooo much better that what comes in a can.

Pumpkin pies from our own pumpkins.

Le plate

This was the first Thanksgiving ever that we celebrated alone as a couple.  You would think it would feel lonely, but it really didn't.  It was relaxed and peaceful.  Besides, most of the gang would be here for Christmas.

In some ways it was like going 40 years back in time when I first sat across a table from this girl.  There was a candle burning on the table on that evening too.

Of course, we weren't completely alone.


The cold November Moon.

Morning mist

Grandma's story time

Time for a walk...

and a good nap in the fresh air.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Cranberry Bog

Cranberries are the final fruit of the season.  We try to get out to pick some in November before the snow arrives.

Cranberries grow on sphagnum bogs, often called quaking or kettle bogs.  The bog is actually  a thick mat of sphagnum moss floating over water. It is like walking on a sponge, and you can feel it  bounce under you when someone else walks near.  You also need rubber boots.

Typical bog plants include leatherleaf  and cotton grass.

Bogs are often surrounded by pines and spruces,
trees that grow well in acidic soils.

This was the first time that I have picked cranberries wearing short sleeves.  It was an unseasonably warm November day, over 70 degrees.  Normally we have to wear warm clothes; some years we have picked cranberries from a thin layer of snow.

We picked almost five quarts.  These will become delicious cranberry sauce.

Obviously we could get our cranberries from the store for much less effort, but the experience of picking berries at this time of year in such a beautiful place is priceless.

Purple is one of the dominant colors of a bog.

Reindeer moss.

Life is beautiful.

Life is good.  Get outside and enjoy it.

A Trip Downstate

We hadn't been below the bridge to Trolland for a number of years, but we had to go and see this little "Peikko".

David had gotten kitchen cabinets and this microwave/oven unit used from a contractor who was putting in a new kitchen.  This was a heavy unit,  but it was easy to roll from the garage to the front of the house using PVC pipe as rollers.

When is it coming? it's got to go uphill.

How are they going to do it?

Where there's a will, there's a way.
I hope grandpa and daddy don't hurt themselves.

No worries.  The Eagle has landed!

The old magic carpet trick.

Voila!  No scratches on the floor.  No sore backs.

You should have seen it, Grandma Janet!

The minimalist IKEA kitchen.

Meanwhile. back in the living room....

...the exhausted father falls into his lounge chair....

...and promptly conks out.

Later on we play...

...and wrestle

and work out!

Whew. Let me catch my breath!

Howell is a beautiful small town with sidewalks and large trees, a great place to walk.  You could imagine yourself being in the 19th century, were it not for the hum of traffic which surrounds it.

On our way home we stopped as Mik and Jeni's and saw Miss Bunny and Miss Tiger.