Archives for the month of: December, 2012

On 28 December we had one very clear day after all the snow fell. I can’t account for the different sky colour in these pictures, it has not been done deliberately.  The first tree is a cherry in front of our house.  It was almost falling over (our neighbour advised me to chop it down in case it fell on the house), but in the last ten years this cherry has gone to great trouble to lean backwards, growing mostly towards the left, and nowadays it seems much better balanced and less scary in a high wind.  The other trees are all, I think, birches of different ages.

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My favourite is this last one, though I can’t give any good reasons.

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Crow’s Nests

That lofty stand of trees beyond the field,
Which in the storms of summer stood revealed

As a great fleet of galleons bound our way
Across a moiled expanse of tossing hay,

Full-rigged and swift, and to the topmost sail
Taking their fill and pleasure of the gale,

Now, in this leafless time, are ships no more,
Though it would not be hard to take them for

A roadstead full of naked mast and spar
In which we see now where the crow’s nests are.

Richard Wilbur (with thanks to Language Hat).

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Christmas is mostly about nostalgia, I find. Although she renounced children’s telly about a decade ago, on the morning of Christmas Eve Alma still watches the 1970s Czech film of Cinderella.  It’s broadcast on television in many European countries at this time of year – rather like the old English film they show in Germany every New Year’s Eve, Dinner For One (The same procedure as last year?).

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Topsy hung around too, pretending to be a rug.

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We’d had quite a lot of snow during the night.

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Now that it’s covered with snow it seems unlikely that we’ll be using our outdoors bathtub again this year – although you never really know.

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The first thing I had to do was blow the snow off the driveway. Then I let the goats out for a couple of hours.

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They hardly ever come out in the winter now.  Dyveke says they’re old ladies, but old ladies go out in the snow. I see them all the time.

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There really isn’t much to eat.

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Though all three had a go at debarking this little mountain-ash tree.

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Holly’s beginning to look a bit like a polar bear.

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Misty, as always, wanted to show me her undying gratitude for something or other.

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Then Holly did a little dance,skip638

and Misty ate some clematis,

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and a rose.

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Not liking the disruption Vesla was reluctant to come outside.  The only thing she would eat, besides the mountain ash bark, was beech leaves.ves8556

One day when the snow has settled I think I’ll take them for a walk.

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We now have enough snow to ski on, should you wish (I don’t). Jack is five months old now.  He’s enthusiastic about the snow. You can see that it was snowing yesterday, quite hard but not unpleasantly (there was no wind).

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At times he goes quite bananas.

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And he likes to share his enjoyment with Topsy.

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Topsy chases him.  We think she has a plan to tire him out so he’ll spend less time later trying to attract her attention in an in-your-face way while she’s taking a nap.

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Today we went to the dog run.  It’s in the middle here, on the near side of the red cabin by the lake.

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Jack has to stay on a lead in case he runs down on to the lake.  I think he’s still quite relieved not to have to face the big dogs yet, too.

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Topsy made a friend, an Italian water dog-Labrador mixture called Alex.

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They had fun with snow,

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chased one another,

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and made peculiar facial expressions that changed too quickly for the naked eye to pick up but were caught by the camera.

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Tomorrow I’ll show some more pictures.  I don’t want to make this post too huge to download.

There is more snow today, though still not enough to ski on.  Our roses are undeterred by it.

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We went down to the dog run and met this so-called puppy:

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It is allegedly four months old.  God knows what it will look like by next winter.  Topsy was unimpressed, she must have realised it was only a puppy.

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But she loved playing with it.  I quite like Alsatians.  It was a good sport,

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…as was Jack.

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who is also four months old, but closer to the snow.

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The lake has frozen over during the past few days.

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Except there’s this strip of water down the middle, I don’t know what could have caused it:

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For those of you from further south, this is a common sight in snowy regions:  can you see the row of tiny orange lights in the centre-left of the picture below?  It’s a downhill skiing run.  It’s probably got a special name, a kunstigsnøpist or something, but I’m not a downhill skier so I wouldn’t know.  The lights are to help you find your way down the hill in the dark.  Can you imagine trying to ski fast down a hill in the dark?  I’d rather drink poison.

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Here are the maple trees on the slope behind our house, with the goathouse to the left.

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It’s December once again, time to bring out the straw goats.  Here are some very discreet decorations we passed:

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It’s snowed again, a tiny bit, and this time it hasn’t melted.

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Some places avoided any accumulation, including this new private venue for viewing the lake, or maybe for fishing.  There was nobody about when we passed by. I think it needs a Trespassers-will-be-prosecuted sign but this is Norway so it won’t happen.

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Someone has run over the pedestrian sign.

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We were taking a late walk.  Not so late, really, about half-three-ish, but it gets dark so early now.

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I got a reasonable shot of the waterfall as we passed.  You’d think it would be easy but the surroundings are quite dark and my pictures nearly always come out blurred.  I’m missing a human figure to give some idea of how big it is – bigger than you’d think from the photograph.

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This is the shaky bridge I mentioned the other day. Topsy appreciates the waterfall, I think.

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And I like the swirling water.

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We met two dogs.  This one liked Topsy.

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And then this setter passed us on its way round the lake.  It was alone, it looks as though it might have a gps thing around its neck.  Topsy really liked it but it was preoccupied, just like the joggers.

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