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Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter Wonders

Welcome back to winter at Cascade Bluff! While not nearly as rough and wooly as the winter of 2013-2014, we've had our share of deep biting cold and snow up here. 

Much of the sky has been like this one... grey, mysterious and full of the threat of the white stuff... 


...and we've seen plenty of snowflakes falling. Lots of huge wonderfully beautiful snowflakes this year, too, the perfectly formed hexagonal marvels we all remember catching on our tongues as kids! 

The sauna looks mighty inviting, doesn't it?
And so do the trails in the woods... for us and for the wolves, who seem to appreciate all our trail work from last summer...
Sometimes the light has been just absolutely perfect. 
Mornings up here are indescribable... you'll just have to enjoy the photos...

I love days when bare trees can seem cast of gold...

Walt, on the other hand, isn't sure what's so interesting about the outdoors in winter. He escaped once and experienced snow. He's decided enuf of that madness. 
I'm particularly fond of days when the solar PV panels start out with an overnight dusting of snow, then as the sun hits them and they begin to heat up... voila! Self-cleaning panels! 
A view to the east... don't often show you this part of our new world...
This particular maple is always magnificently orange and red in the fall... stay tuned for a few months and I'll show you!
Then there's that darn mountain... isn't she just lovely? 
Mm mm...
Last year you may recall some crazy stuff with a fire in a big snow cave... alas, not enough of the white stuff has fallen for a similar adventure... yet... maybe later... 
Snappingly cold day this week, 18 below and even the slightest wind hurt... But I wandered out anyway and caught these lovely copper bells hanging along the path to the labyrinth... Wish you could have heard them...

It was late afternoon and the light in the labyrinth was gorgeous... 

Don't you just love that shade of blue on the snow on a winter afternoon? 
Unretouched photo... it was really these shades of blue and gold..

This little lady was a visitor at the Sax-Zim bog where we went birding in early Feb... Val's birthday promise to me was that we would go check out the bog for owls and other winter feathered folk... She's a common redpoll... 
...and this pinker dude is a male CRP... Handsome, isn't he? 
She's stuffing her beak full of that tasty sunflower seed! 
Our visit to Sax-Zim was fun and a success - saw a great grey owl, lots of winter finches, a curious pine marten, chipper and friendly grey jays and a ton of other birdies. And convinced us that our terrain and woodlands are not all that different.. we just need to set up our own feeders and see what we can attract! So, perhaps next month we'll have pix from the New World Birding extravaganza! Visit again soon for more fun... this time involving dogs!