The Winter Tree

It’s been a long 6 months since I took this picture of our Tree.

An unusually clear day in our Summer of Smoke

The heat, and the smoke, and my ‘chitis, lingered long into Autumn.

But the leaves did eventually start to turn

Winter’s first chill put a halo of frost around the fallen leaves.

Brrrr, that’s brisk

Then, this being the Fraser Valley, it rained, and rained, and rained.

After the summer we had I wasn’t about to complain

We put up some Christmas decorations …

If you look close you can see real fairies with their wee lanterns lighting up the glitter. 🙂

… and had ourselves a merry little (white) Christmas.

My little cellphone even managed to capture the white stuff as it fell

Coco the Community Cat came to visit and admire the view.

Of course I’m not going to look into that strange thing you’re shoving in my face. It could steal my soul … and then you’d be sorry!

Two days later the snow turned to ice. 5 cm (2″) on the first day!

I probably shouldn’t’ve budded this early

Trees bowed and broke under the weight. Power lines were knocked out. We knew it was coming, there’d been enough warnings from the weather bureau. Our 72 hour emergency plan stood us in good stead, but we were stretched to the limit at the end. Now we have a 144 hour (6 day) emergency supply of fuels, (gasoline, kerosene, propane) and storage and purification capacity for 120 liters (31 gallons) of water.

The staccato sounds of falling trees snapped through the crystal air without cease.

Bending under the weight

What was beautiful and soft turned into dangerous and beautiful.

The sun came out and we sent out to see what we could see

A neighbour’s maple trees became a curtain of ice

Ice everywhere, over everything

A wire fence became an instant icicle factory

Down by the lake Grandmother Willow had succumbed to the weight on her ancient branches

The hedge across the way became a frozen waterfall

We sat in our little house, snug and warm, and read, and passed the time disconnected from the rest of the world, but at peace with it as well.

The next morning we pulled up the blinds on our study window and saw what had become of our Winter Tree

Two major branches, gone. Frozen to the ground, waiting for the thaw

Coco came to commiserate

As did a deer, who must’ve come across the lake after it froze

In spite of all the damage across our island and indeed the entire region, we held no animosity, perhaps a little sorrow, but in the face of such a beautiful blue sky, it didn’t last.

Winter on Widder Island

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Let’s Try This Again … Going, Going …

It seems my ‘chitis likes it here on Widder Island. I’m on my third week of antibiotics and I feel crappy, and if La La Land wins Best Picture, I’ll feel even worse. It wasn’t … terrible … but come on people, if you’re going to have a film about people who sing and dance, hire actors who can sing and dance above a B-movie level.

***

We return you to our regularly scheduled snow report.

Going …

How the mighty have melted

How the mighty have melted

Going …

Poor rosemary looks like a bunch of frozen twigs

Poor rosemary looks like a bunch of frozen twigs

Midnight at the Oasis …

Midnight last night ... Yep ... that’d be more snow! ( shot from the front door, cos there’s no way I’m going out there)

Midnight last night … Yep … that’d be more snow! ( shot from the front door, cos there’s no way I’m going out there)

***

Remember this song?

The Snows of Widder Island

It snowed for five days …

The second night

The second night

Our front yard looked like this …

30 centimeters of snow dug out three times

30 centimeters of snow dug out three times

… and this …

Poor Rosemary is somewhere underneath all that

Poor Rosemary is somewhere underneath all that

Neighbours pitched in to clear driveways, and cars, and a way out to the main road …

A posse of six women did most of this

A posse of six women did most of this

But, the day before yesterday came the freezing rain …

The sound of cracking branches reverberated across the island

The sound of cracking branches reverberated across the island

Ice, everywhere …

Our driveway marker. The top meter or so anyway

Our driveway marker. The top meter or so anyway

Then the inevitable happened. No electricity. Mrs Widds and I were prepared …

Kerosene heater – with supper in the pot on top – light and warmth

Kerosene heater – with supper in the pot on top – light and warmth

I love Winter!

Dandelion Wine

Last week we had two days of summer here on Widder Island. The thermometer popped up from the low teens to 27 and 28 degrees (Celsius) respectively. (Then plummeted back to it’s former range where it has remained ever since)

During that halcyon time this happened from one end of the street to the other and down the hillside to the lake.

A Trio Among Many

Mrs Widders, favouring her somewhat bacchanalian nature, suggested we go forth and gather from such bounty as many flowers as we could. Adding a measure of water, we then set our dandy-lions to steep for a day or two.

Steeping not Sleeping

A not overly wholesome aroma rose from our brew and the colour was … uninspiring.

I May Not Look Like Much Now ...

I May Not Look Like Much Now …

We consigned the soggy lions, (no longer dandy) to the compost bin, and prepared our next additions to the pot.

Oranges and lemons …

Oranges and Lemons, say the Bells of St Clemens.

 … grated and squeezed to within inches of their citric lives …

Knuckle Skin and Fingertip Free

Knuckle Skin and Fingertip Free

… sugar. Lots of sugar.

Lots, and Lots of Sugar

Lots, and Lots of Sugar

Into the container they go.

... First the Sugar ...

… First the Sugar …

... Then the Juice ...

… Then the Juice …

... and the Zesty Grand Finale

… and the Zesty Grand Finale

Thence did the container repose upon the refrigerator (warmest spot in the house) for a week, to gather its wild yeasties while it may.

A Green Hat - The Perfect Accessory

A Green Hat – The Perfect Accessory

… 1 week later … The Great Unveiling. It’s looks a whole lot prettier than it did at the beginning.

“‘Scuse me while I ferment.” … *burp* … “Par’n me.”

Fermentation hath begun, and now we wait ’til August.