altivo: Gingerbread horse cookie (gingerhorse)
Tried a new recipe for dinner. Using a slow cooker, this was a stew of black lentils (urad moong,) light kidney beans, and chickpeas in Indian spices, with cilantro, yogurt, and heavy cream added right at the end. It smelled like an Indian restaurant. Gary was cautious and used only three serrano peppers instead of the six called for, which turned out about right for us. I don't mind spicy, but I like to be able to sleep afterward. Served with rice and, at the author's suggestion, blue corn tortilla chips. (Probably papadums would be more authentic, but I don't care for the asafoetida in those.) It was pretty darned good.

The snow did finally start to fall at around bedtime last night, and snowed through the night in spite of temperatures only barely below freezing. We got at least seven inches here:

Late snow 20120223


Click through for three additional photos.
altivo: Horsie cupcakes (cupcake)
Rather more than I expected, somewhat less (as usual) than the weather service predicted. About five inches on the ground now, and it seems to have stopped falling. Temperatures significantly warmer than last night, but still below freezing. Woodstove still needed.

Chance of aurora late Saturday for those with clear skies and who are far enough north. Doesn't look like it will be clear enough here.

Pulled out an old Dr Who episode on VHS, "The Daemon" with Jon Pertwee. We had hunted for years for the scene with the Morris dancers who tied the Dr up to the maypole and threatened to burn him alive. I knew we'd seen it, and this is the one.

Should be a quiet weekend, at least from my point of view. The snow is heavy enough to keep me at home as much as possible. We'll see what I get done. Or not.
altivo: Plush horsey (plushie)
Still too cold. At least I got some weaving done today, not enough but some. Gary moved some more snow out of the way, so we have decent paths cut to nearly everywhere we need for now. The only real issue is waste removal from the barns. We normally spread it on the back fields but unless he cuts a swath back there the wheelbarrow isn't getting that far for a while.

Back to work tomorrow. As it happened, I didn't go today. Director called early and said that the road between me and work was closed due to drifting snow, and since I only go in for four hours on Thursday as a rule, I needn't come. I accepted the offer, though I could have gotten there by a more circuitous route. As is usual for rural environments, the 15 miles would have become about 21 or so. I have personal days and a floating holiday available though, so I'll suggest that she charge it to one of those.

Took Gary's mom in to Woodstock this afternoon to get her prescriptions refilled at Walgreens. While there I checked out their offering of plush for Valentine's but found nothing irresistible. No ponies or other equines at all. No big cats. Too many bears and monkeys with goofy faces. Hence, no money for Walgreens. Though one of my favorite ponies came from there three years ago, They've not had any more since then.

After dinner tonight, while I was reading, Red got onto the sofa next to me and snuggled up for about an hour. Tikki, the elderly cat, got into my lap and spent a while licking the top of his head, which he did not resist, before moving to the other end of the sofa. Unfortunately, no photos, as Gary was busy trying to explain Facebook to his mom, who was having trouble grasping the idea of all that "stuff" just sitting there forever, getting bigger and bigger. We didn't get into the privacy issues and all those other complicated aspects.

Tired. Very tired and still sore. Must... zzzzzzzz
altivo: Commission line art colored by myself (cs-tivo-color)
This is too good to wait, so I'm sharing it right now. I was sitting at the dining room table watching the snow fall this morning, and noticed a cardinal looking as if she had frozen solid at a feeder right outside the glass. At first I thought she was sheltering from the wind, but looking around I realized the air was calm and the snow was falling straight down or nearly so. She remained absolutely still, moving only her head and doing that very slowly and slightly. Then I spotted the hawk. No other birds were moving within view, which is unusual for the time and conditions. I believe this is a sharp-shinned hawk, though we also have Cooper's hawks that look very similar but are larger and heavier. The hawk was also frozen and staring right at the feeder from about 40 feet away (see upper left corner of photo.) This tableau remained for nearly 15 minutes, while I pointed it out to Gary and then got my camera and made several quick shots. Resolution isn't the best, but I still think this is very dramatic. Eventually the hawk gave up and flew, with the cardinal leaving almost immediately afterward.

Cardinal hiding from hawk


Close-up of the hawk is here.

Saturday, 4 Dec 2010 07:45. About 3 in. of snow on the ground, still falling, temperature 25F.

No big snow

Jan. 7th, 2010 08:31 pm
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)
It did snow, just not as much as they said it would. We got somewhere between four and five inches of new powder here at the farm. At work, there was somewhat less, maybe three inches. Instead of continuing with heavy snow all day and into the night, things had pretty much dropped back to light flurries by noon time. Sorta disappointing, really. No doubt we'll still get the bitter cold over the weekend, without even having received the snow to make it worthwhile.

I noticed one interesting aspect of the snow today, though. We use a Rubbermaid wheelbarrow for lots of chores around here. If you aren't familiar with those, they have two large wheels on the sides, like a wheelchair, rather than a single fat but small diameter wheel at the front. They are easier to push with a heavy load and less likely to tip accidentally, but also more difficult to steer than the more traditional single wheel design.

Since the first snows three or four weeks ago, we've been developing packed trails where the wheelbarrow goes every day. When the snow melts and refreezes, these ruts develop something of the character of railroad tracks. You can't easily change your route, and are more or less limited to the paths already laid out for you. We have "tracks" all over, but when you look at them, they have "switches" and "wyes" and "diamonds" just like a rail yard. Since there is only one wheelbarrow, no traffic control is required. However, derailment is in fact possible, and with a heavy load, one must necessarily exercise some caution. Once derailed, getting back onto the track without spilling the load is quite an energy-consuming task.

Oh, and the knitted "horseshoe" hat is completed. I'm thinking about knitting some stuffed animal dolls next. I saw a design for an anthro sheep yesterday that could easily be improved a bit and would look quite cute.

Well?

Jan. 6th, 2010 09:37 pm
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
*taps hoof* Where is it? *peers out window"

Actually, it's supposed to start at midnight. Still dire predictions of up to a foot or more, but it will take all day tomorrow for that much to accumulate. Chances are I'll be going to work in the morning, but fortunately I get off for the day at lunchtime.

So what's the excuse for the sudden jump in gas prices? It has gone up 20 cents or more per gallon in the last seven days around here. Some stations increased their prices three times within a week. I know they don't take deliveries that often in most cases, so there's something dubious going on.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
We had rain for Christmas, just enough that we worried about flooding where the runoff was being held back by collapsed snow, so we ended up out cutting drainage routes through snow and ice around the barn. The temperature dropped right after that, and around sunset it began to snow. Tentative at first, we thought it might amount to an inch or so by morning.

Well, it picked up overnight and we got to three inches of fluffy powder by dawn. It's still coming down and has added another inch, with no sign yet of stopping. This has to be an edge effect of the major blizzard that is affecting Nebraska and the Dakotas, hundreds of miles west of us.

Here it's just pretty. The power is back on since yesterday, the predicted temperatures will hover in a manageable range of 15 to 28°F. over the next few days, and nothing is urgent until at least Monday. I suppose I could clean house but I'm more likely to read one of several books I got for Christmas.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
We had rain for Christmas, just enough that we worried about flooding where the runoff was being held back by collapsed snow, so we ended up out cutting drainage routes through snow and ice around the barn. The temperature dropped right after that, and around sunset it began to snow. Tentative at first, we thought it might amount to an inch or so by morning.

Well, it picked up overnight and we got to three inches of fluffy powder by dawn. It's still coming down and has added another inch, with no sign yet of stopping. This has to be an edge effect of the major blizzard that is affecting Nebraska and the Dakotas, hundreds of miles west of us.

Here it's just pretty. The power is back on since yesterday, the predicted temperatures will hover in a manageable range of 15 to 28°F. over the next few days, and nothing is urgent until at least Monday. I suppose I could clean house but I'm more likely to read one of several books I got for Christmas.


[EDIT: As of sunset, we had accumulated somewhere between nine and ten inches of new powder over the top of the old hard frozen snow from two weeks back. It looks beautiful, but is so deep it goes above the top of my rubber boots in some places. Gary discovered that the fields out back have a lot of standing water under the blanket of snow. Once again, we are being damaged by the ruined drainage the subdivision idiots created to the north of us. And the snow is still falling here.]
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)

Pausing in the woods
Originally uploaded by Altivo
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

—Robert Frost, 1922


"No work today" rings not true. Yes, the library was closed due to the weather, but let me tell you, shoveling the snow and doing animal care in six to eight inches of it is heavy work. Still, it's beautiful stuff, and how people can profess to "hate" it so is beyond my conception.

(More photos available on Flickr. Click thumbnail to get there.)
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)

Pausing in the woods
Originally uploaded by Altivo
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

—Robert Frost, 1922


"No work today" rings not true. Yes, the library was closed due to the weather, but let me tell you, shoveling the snow and doing animal care in six to eight inches of it is heavy work. Still, it's beautiful stuff, and how people can profess to "hate" it so is beyond my conception.

(More photos available on Flickr. Click thumbnail to get there.)

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