Just about three or four inches, not much at all. It started snowing again after I took this but not for long. I really miss the days when we measured our snow falls in feet, not paltry inches. Those times were not so long ago; as late as 2008 it was normal to get a storm that would dump a couple of feet of snow, followed a few weeks later by another storm dumping another couple of feet of snow, and so on.
It's been a bit on the chilly side. Right now the temperature (Fahrenheit) is 14 degrees, which I believe is 10 Celsius. Our low tonight is supposed to be 0 but it's very windy, so to the trees and plants (and exposed human skin and anything that isn't covered by fur on animals) it will feel like -27 (-32.77 in Celsius). Without a deep snow cover I'll probably lose some of my perennial plants. It's becoming more and more difficult to garden up here, due to climate change bringing such huge temperature swings. It's always gotten this cold up here, but in the past the plants were insulated by snow. And the summer temperatures now climb into unheard of heights: It's not uncommon nowadays for it to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Ten years ago our highs never got above 80 degrees, and they only reached that for a few days in August.
All that, combined with much, much lower rainfall than in the past, is taking a terrible toll on the forest I live in. I thought things would get better now that the Pine Bark Beetle invasion, which killed over one million huge, ancient pines, is over, but it doesn't seem to be happening that way.
I'm not giving up hope, though. Maybe another Little Ice Age, like the one which started in the late 1300's and lasted into the19th century, will come along in time to save the planet and reverse global warming. Of course, that was caused by massive eruptions of tropical volcanos, so that's not really something to hope for.
Maybe a real miracle will happen and world governments will get together, and work together, to implement actions that would really reverse global warming.
And maybe the Snow Queen will get in a snit, and return winters to what they should be.
Sunlight, shadows and water drops...endlessly fascinating to me.
We've been having several days of a very light rain here, more of a heavy mist really. I'm hoping we'll get the heavy rains and snowfall that we need so desperately here before the rainy season ends in March.
Last night sleep only came to me in bits and pieces. In that place half-way between waking and sleeping, pieces of thoughts, scraps of numbers, fragments of words flew across the surface of my mind.
As I tossed and turned I remembered a photo I had taken a couple of weeks ago, of reflections of colored lights from the Christmas tree refracted through the round, clear ball of a snow globe onto a book. I think if I could have taken a photo of my thoughts last night, they might have looked similar to this.
This little guy is a House Finch, but he seems to know he's special. Usually, where their feathers are red they're just red. This little guy has some yellow on him, too. He was very co-operative, turning this way and that way so I could take his photo. I think he wanted me to know he's handsome from every angle!
I can't seem to get over my endless fascination with the colors and textures that are hidden in ice, glass and other reflective things. It would take me about three days to do this in oils, more if I did it in watercolor. Of course, if I did take the time for watercolors, it would be much sharper with crisper edges and more definition...but playing with the computer is fun, too. Left click to enlarge.
This is a sunset at San Clemente Beach here in Southern California. It's been so horribly cold up here in the mountains I needed something that reminded me of warmer weather to look at here. Our high temperatures for the past few days have been in the low to medium single digits, Fahrenheit.
My poor husband has been outside all day in the sub-freezing temperature battling frozen pipes. The raccoons had pulled off a little piece of pipe insulation from a tiny bit of pipe that exits the water heater closet and goes right back into the house. Just that little exposed bit was enough to cause havoc. And, while he was doing this, he discovered hairline cracks in several pipes so he had to replace those pipes lest they burst. Thank goodness he's done now: He's been at it since 4 this morning and it's now 5 p.m.
Tonight our low will be well below zero (Fahrenheit) and there will be strong winds of up to 60 mph. I can't even begin to imagine what the low temperature will be once the wind chill is factored in. My feral colony of cats have warm shelters to sleep in, but I'm very worried about all the other stray cats and dogs in the rest of these mountains. I hope they can all find warm, safe, comfortable places to shelter.
Oh yes, I almost forgot...we also had a little earthquake today! It was only a 3.7 on the Richter Scale, a teeny tiny one by California standards. We didn't feel it, I heard about it on the news. May the future ones all be that small...
The winter doldrums have me so thoroughly surrounded I feel like I'm wearing a cement coat. Brain stagnating, body sluggish, it's all I can do to get the food out for the forest wildings and feral cats, which I'm sure the little male House Finch, above, is grateful for. If you look closely, you can see he has a black oil sunflower seed in his beak. I wonder why it is that on days when it rains or snows I am energized, alert, almost hyper-aware. But on days like this one, cold but sunny, a perfectly nice day, I can barely function. It's not just me, either, all the cats are snoozing, lazy, furry lumps. Maybe something to do with the barometric pressure?
The last day of Christmas is tomorrow (if you celebrate the 12 days of Christmas) but Mouseford Falls and it's inhabitants will be around until February. It's set up in the kitchen greenhouse window and it's such a cheerful sight...sometimes they even stay through March, if March is a particularly blustery and grey month. It was snowing when I took this photo and I hope we get lots more of the white stuff.
Now I'd better get outside and put out more peanuts and water for the birds and scatter seeds and peanut bits for the real mice that live in the real Mouseford Falls by the creek and in the woods around my cottage. They're all very hungry this time of year!
I bought a new little table that rolls around, foolishly thinking I would use it for my laptop. Before I could even set the laptop down on it the kittens discovered it and claimed it for their own. (That's Malcolm and Merlin above).
Malcolm's having a fine time...
So is Max...
while Sophia thinks it's a great place for a nap.
And this look from Max pretty much says it all..."Back off, Mom, it's OURS!"
Silly me. You'd think, after all these years of being a cat parent, I would know by now that everything belongs to them!
And some other Wildings, big and little, who kindly share their forest with me:
"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Young Steller's Jay
Common to high altitude forests all over the west
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Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. ~~ Albert Einstein
June Was Adopt a Cat Month
But, there are always strays who need a loving home - so don't shop, ADOPT! Click the photo for helpful tips on adopting.
If they breathe, they live. If they live, they feel. If they feel, they love. If they love, they are aware. If they are aware, they have a soul. ~ Williams
I love cats because I enjoy my home and, little by little, they become its visible soul ~ Jean Cocteau (That's Alyce Eloise at the top of the Halloween tree)
Feed the Hungry
A five minute walk from my door...
I think we are bound to, and by, Nature. We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world, but every time there's a snowstorm or drought we know our fate is tied to the world around us. ~~ Alice Hoffman
Give a Child a Book
What I'm Reading Now:
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot
A person who collects or is fond of books. Also, a person who immediately feels safe, happy, even euphoric, when holding a favorite book.
Where there is tea there is hope - Pinero
Care for a cuppa?
Boulder Bay, Big Bear Lake
Click to visit Big Bear
Lake Gregory, Crestline
Click to visit Crestline
Click to visit Lake Arrowhead
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. ~ John Muir, from "The California Mountains"
A Favorite Quote
"I don't want life to imitate art; I want life to BE art." Carrie Fisher
I'm three-quarters Native American (Oglala Sioux and Cherokee), and one-quarter Northern Italian. I live in a little cottage with my furry "children" in a beautiful mountain forest where we enjoy daily visits from the little wild creatures. I love animals (you probably guessed), books, photography, tall trees, clear lakes, rain, snow, tea, the moon, and creating all kinds of art.