We had a sunny and cold Christmas this year instead of our normal wet or occasional white one. I had been hoping to play with Ellie in the snow since it was playing with Porter from next door in last year’s big snow that started me thinking it was time for us to adopt a dog, but no such luck.
On Tuesday, I checked the weather before heading up to Ridgefield and saw the rain was supposed to make a comeback in the afternoon. It didn’t rain but as I started my last trip around the auto tour at the end of the day, I had to smile at the few flakes that fell, hardly enough to call even a flurry, my first snowflakes of the season. The snow picked up as I drove around but it wasn’t until I got near the end that it was falling hard enough that I started to get a little concerned. After snapping some quick pics of baby nutria and a juvenile heron in the snow, I started for home.
Unfortunately our Subaru is in the shop this week and I was in a rental, so I was without four-wheel drive, but I got home without incident, the roads being fairly clear and getting into our driveway proved the biggest challenge. My timing proved fortuitous as the snow continued to fall through the evening and I just missed the worst of the traffic.
I took Ellie out to play in the snow as soon as I got home, either on our walk or with other dogs in the park or hedgehogging on a snow-covered turf in the backyard. She was having the time of her life and after a couple of hours of vigorous play we called it a night.
Both of us took it pretty easy the next day.
We had a nice relaxing Christmas this year. I’m off from work for a couple of weeks so I got up before sunrise and went to Ridgefield as I have most days this week. Today, though, instead of staying all day at the refuge I came home for the afternoon. The cats were treated with extra salmon treats while Ellie got a new baby hedgehog to go along with the other two. One of the older ones has been designated for outdoor use but has seen so much love that its face is starting to fall off.
New baby hedgehog was a huge hit and an excited Ellie squeaked it all day long, taking a break only to toss it at us in hopes of play. She finally tuckered out and is sleeping beside me at the moment.
She’s posing here beside our bedraggled tree with the new hedgehog. The eagle-eyed observer may notice that there are two new hedgehogs in the picture, the toy at Ellie’s feet and a new ornament that my wife made in Ellie’s honor.
The eagle-eyed observer may also note that Emma is sitting underneath the tree. She has not been climbing the tree so much since the ornaments went on, although she did break one of the colored glass balls and beloved gold Santa took a beating.
This young eagle is probably about three years old and does not yet have the adult bald eagle’s distinctive white head, but it is getting close. Taken on a cold and foggy fall morning when the sun had just started to break through and the fog started to lift, the eagle rested for a while in between harassing the waterfowl on Rest Lake.
Sam and Emma underneath the Christmas tree, a slightly calmer scene than yesterday. I was going to title yesterday’s post “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”, but since I recently got a nice new camera I couldn’t do it in good conscience.
Today’s cameras really are remarkable. I took both of these pictures tonight, handheld, with the Christmas tree lights providing the only illumination. I decided to try the 7D at ISO 3200 and used the image stabilization in the lens to compensate for the slow shutter speed.
There’s a reason I don’t put the ornaments on the tree right away.
I thought with another year of wisdom and experience the cats might be kinder to the tree. But yesterday we got home from work to find this carnage in the living room.
The investigation initially focused on two prime suspects, juvenile offenders with a past history of tree climbing, but the discovery of a clump of soft, black fur in the treetop has narrowed the focus. The accused did herself no favors when, as I righted the tree, she climbed back into it before I even had it upright again.
In her defense, the tree stand isn’t the best. It certainly wasn’t designed with the idea of a 10 lb. ornament hanging from the top.