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Tag Archives: winter

Snow has been falling since the wee hours of the morning. I think the forecast said it would end by midday but it only slowed for a bit and then kept coming! We have been waiting for the snow for a while and no doubt, will be tired of it before it all goes away. Ski trails are getting groomed and we will soon be out there with all the other snow lovers in the valley.

In addition to new snow, the Fed Ex driver (after getting stuck on our driveway) brought me a new camera! Not many things more fun than a new camera. Well, maybe a puppy but we are not looking for a puppy right now.

So I ventured out in the snow. Finches crowded the feeders and didn’t mind my presence. The dogs were not so sure about staying out too long, especially Luna. They were somewhat cooperative.

Last month, as we longed for 2020 to end, I was inspired to put up a 2020 Christmas tree in the snow. It was a dead, burned pine from the 2014 fire. It had finally fallen over and I dragged it home through the snow and set it up where I could see it from the house. I even put a few decorations on it. It still stands out there. We also had a lovely evergreen inside the house.

Two days ago, as the dogs and I returned from a walk, I noticed something new in my tree. Not any bigger than my fist, it was a Northern Pygmy Owl. We were going to have to walk near it to get in the house and I was surprised that it didn’t leave its perch even though we were barely social distancing. My camera was inside ready for this moment. I have seen a pygmy owl here a couple of times in the last month and had hoped for a good opportunity to photograph it. Many others are seeing them here in the valley. I wonder if there is a bit of a pygmy owl irruption this winter? Last year I did not see any. Yesterday I saw one from the ski trail and couple weeks ago, I saw one while walking in the hills across the valley.

I saw it again late yesterday afternoon as dense fog rolled in. It was perched in a live pine with a fine view of the bird feeders. These tiny owls generally weigh less than 2 1/2 ounces and are ferocious predators, sometimes taking California Quail and Northern Flickers. The Cornell Lab has more info on Northern Pygmy Owls here.

 

Yesterday was just lovely! Blue skies, new snow, sparkles everywhere. New snow makes the world seem fresh again.

The dogs have been enjoying the weather recently. Nights are very cold and in the morning the snow is firm enough to support their weight. Mine too. Daytime temperatures are well into the forties so all in all, it’s a lovely time to be out and about!

The weather is notorious for being gray this time of year and sometimes, there’s just not enough snow for it to really seem like winter despite the cold. And once the highway closes for the winter, it is hard to get above the thick layer of clouds into the sunshine. These photos are from earlier in the month at Washington Pass before the highway closed. We were not alone. Lots of folks were skiing and walking and playing with dogs and everyone was happy, especially the dogs. Someone asked if my dogs were puppies. They sure act like puppies sometimes.

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