Tag Archives: snow

Snow and Birds



On the way up to Pippin’s place this week I stopped in to see my friend Myriah. She lives in a low mountain region where the street names are Quail, Pine, and Towhee. Tall conifers fill all the yards in her neighborhood.

But I didn’t spend any time outdoors that afternoon, because of drenching rain. We stayed inside and I got to meet her miniature parrots that I think are called parrotlets.

She gave me bags full of fabric from a gift that an elderly friend had made to her. I don’t know how I will manage to make use of it–yet. But I got ideas, looking at her inspiring quilts.







Driving down to the valley again, I came into sunshine, and the air was warmer. Then at Lake Shasta, fuller than I have ever seen it, buckets of rain made driving hard at any speed. It was awfully cold here at my destination, but it didn’t snow, until this afternoon. Light slushy snow, then what Pippin calls popcorn snow, a sort of cross between hail and snow. This is a view from across the street; it’s only dark because of the clouds.

The snow paused for a spell, and birds came to the feeder! I didn’t see them, of course, until Pippin pointed them out to me, just a few feet on the other side of the window above my sinkful of dishes. We took pictures of the Black-Headed Grosbeak and the Mountain Chickadee. The Grosbeak was a bird she hadn’t seen before this spring.

My daughter and husband haven’t lived here a full year, so every time something comes into bloom or loses its leaves it is an event.



Everything was so different at my first two visits especially.

The crabapple trees in front are covered in flowers now.
And one of the birches uprooted in the very rough winter.











I’m wondering if this is a quince brightening up the roadside.



I built a fire in the stove this morning, as it was colder than yesterday. And the cats seemed to enjoy it. They slept in nooks and crannies all around the warm room.

Pippin made us some kale chips tonight. I’m not sure I’d ever have tried them if she hadn’t demonstrated how easy they are:



Take a bunch of kale, wash it and tear approximately 2″ pieces off the stalk. Dry them in a towel or salad spinner, and put them in a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake in a 350° oven for about 12 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

She thinks you should try to cook the kale on parchment paper as her original recipe directs, but she hasn’t always done this. The kale comes out looking brownish-green, but it is crispy and light and flavorful. One person could easily eat a whole bunch this way. We don’t know how much of the nutrient value is retained, and I haven’t researched what anyone else says about that.

When I get home again I will be in the midst of the disarray that seeps into my mind and makes me incapable of writing more than one coherent sentence per day. It’s been nice to relax away from the home that is not homey, and play with Little Scout, who’s seven months old now and lots of fun. While he napped I read and wrote, and even laid away a draft for a little blog I can post later if I feel like it.

February Travels

It’s almost three weeks since I drove north to the home of Seventh Grandson; that’s the trip that began with cherries. I thought that before the seasons change any further I’d better make my report of the expedition.

Soon after the sighting of cherries, I was driving through country with bare-branched orchards. They always look so gorgeous as I speed along; when I stop to take a picture my efforts never capture the majesty and expanse. I think these must be almonds, because I’m pretty sure they are not walnuts or pears, which I would expect to be there.

Farther up the state from the volcanic peak by which I saw the cherries, there is this one. We have a whole string of such dramatic mountains running up the western states, and on our travels we can mark our progress by spying them in the distance long before we get close.

When I got within five minutes of my goal, the rain had turned to snow, and several inches fell that night, after I snapped some pictures to compare with last summer’s shots. You can see Spike the deer next to the yellow shed that is in the middle of a snowfield now.

Things are much milder, however, than last month when a wild snowstorm dumped record amounts of snow on this homestead, knocking out power for days and keeping my daughter and her husband busy melting water on the stove and carving out tunnels to outbuildings.  The next two snowy pictures are of that episode, from which they have largely returned to normal.

For several days I worked to get to know that dear little stove, but I’m not sure I ever figured out how to keep a slow fire going; it was either too hot, or it went out.

20 years ago I bought these boots from Eddie Bauer for the rain, but they served pretty well for the small amount of tromping around in the snow I did.

A lucky new cat is living in the house, bringing the total temporarily to four. This one is called Little Cat, because the householders are hoping to find another home for the foundling, and don’t want to give him a real name yet. He has upset the feline social order to the point where various ones are snarling and facing off several times a day, especially near dinnertime.

If Little Cat is still needing a home after my remodeling project is done, I hope to adopt him myself. He has the cutest cat face I’ve ever seen.

While I was there I finally finished putting a drawstring into this bag that contained the 7th Grandson Quilt. You can see it with just a ribbon around it and the quilt inside, and now with its black string to match the checkered bottom.

It’s a weirdly shaped bag because I made it from leftover fabric to match and house the quilt, but I thought perhaps someday it could hold an overflow of stuffed animals or some blankets or ???, in which case the drawstring would make it much more handy.

7th Grandson himself, of course, was THE focal point of my stay. He doesn’t like lying on his tummy on the floor, but it’s thought good for the boy to do a little Pilates work there. Children these days spend so much time in car seats and such. I caught his photograph before he became totally irate.
Before I had to return home, rain washed the snow off the trees, and the sun came out. Soon I’ll be loading up the car to make another visit! It will be interesting to see what changes have occurred in one month, and what adventures might lie in my path.