This time our precipitation came as snow. Since we have that big beautiful deck, I came up with the brainchild of putting a Christmas tree on it, lights and all. And so we did. A tree was found that had been crowded in with other trees and needed to be culled anyway, allowing those that remained more of everything to grow well. This is how it looked early Tuesday morning
and this is how it looks this morning.
What you can't see are the three pine cones with peanut butter tucked in among the branches for the birds. More on that later. The birds didn't find them by the time it got dark last night, but it would seem a certain masked bandit was scoping it all out. My tracks to turn on the lights are to the right, his to the left. ;)
He/She actually got a small cone I had left on a deck post to help out the birds.
If you look closely you can see the signature long back feet of the Raccoon and on the left side middle top a fine print of the lovely articulated front fingers and paw. It's hard to see, I know. When I go out to feed I'll be able to track this critter easily, even through barn cat tracks.
This isn't a long post so we are already at later! I tacked up Dandy in the late morning yesterday. I had been hoping for a break in the gloom but the freezing fog just wouldn't let up, so it was now or never. My little red rocket hasn't been out since early September ( maybe even late August), so I wasn't sure of the go/whoa proportion. He was a gentleman. We picked our way over the horrid deep ruts left by the power company and took our usual training trail. Stopping along the way to gather pine cones and stuff them into the saddle pack. There is no grazing, but Dandy wore his mountain horse cap well yesterday and stayed right were I left him. Untied, reins over the front of the saddle and patient while I beat around trees and bushes looking for pine cone gold. The squirrels had obviously beaten me for the really big ones months ago.
It was a slow ride and short. The last thing I wanted was for Dandy to get sweaty and in his curly winter coat, that is easily accomplished. On this wet raw foggy day it just wouldn't do to be damp at skin layer. I, on the other hand, was freezing by the time we arrived home. I should have worn a pair of warm tights under my breeches, my legs were cold and wet. A jacket instead of just a heavy sweatshirt would have been smart too.
I warmed up with tea and a grilled cheese sandwich and later in the afternoon the horses got a heaping load of hay for dinner. Dandy got the heavier bundle for all his good works.
So the holiday shopping is done, the tree decorated outside and the mantel inside has 9 little stockings all hung with care awaiting filling. The oven is on order and the fried parts of the electric fence ( which we discovered yesterday) have been repaired. I have only my yearly holiday book to find and a Christmas dinner to plan.