So far, so good - our electricity has stayed on in spite of large trees leaning and swaying in the wind like dancers in slow motion. Some of our big spruces up on the hill in back of our house look as if the tops could snap off any moment. They are all normally straight and tall against the skyline, but now they are draped in snow and lean drunkenly in various directions. The young birch trees are bent double, their tops buried in snow. It's amazing how much they will bend before breaking; some of the young maples
have broken off - apparently they don't withstand the bending as well as the birches. It's been our experience, too, that the birches will usually resume an upright position, once released from the snow, but maples never recover and send shoots straight up from the semi-circle main tree. Not much can be done for them. We will get into our woods after this is over and everything that is going to break has done so, and assess the damage.
We learned today that Evelyn and Ray Richer have listed their home at Loon Cove with Lang McLaughry, and we have a link on our Real Estate for Sale page on the website. I have always admired their home - between the two of them, Ray with his building expertise and Evelyn with her eye for design and color, they have created a lovely space. We certainly wish them well, but it won't be the same Loon Cove without them there. They have been our go-to experts on loons and many other things over the years. Evelyn says she will still keep in touch through the blog, and that's always very nice to hear.
We're getting ready for our family Christmas Eve - turns out it's our turn to host this year. I was pretty sure it was, but with Bill and Monika dashing off to Namibia at Christmas a couple of times in the past, we sort of got out of sync. In years we aren't hosting, we don't have a tree, but I do always like to have at least a few decorations in the house. Usually I add a little every few days and then when it's time to take everything down and put it away, I'm surprised at how much there is. I love when the house is decorated for the holidays and I'm always a little sad when New Year's Day comes and I'm taking everything down again.
Tomorrow I am going to try to remember to go out and clean off
my snow measuring stick in the back yard. Snow has stuck to it so there's no possibility of reading the numbers. That's it standing straight up in front of a tangle of bushes. I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to get the snow off without skewing the reading by it piling up at the base of the stake, but I'll work on that. Along with getting a total depth of snow at the stake, I'll take a core sample to find out how much precipitation it melts down to. That information is important to weather people who are trying to figure out if we're having a "normal" year for precipitation or if we're in for a water shortage, etc. There are various agencies that use the information we volunteers send, we're told. I'm glad our efforts are at least somewhat important; going out there struggling to shove the tube through a foot or more of snow and ice and then melting the collected core in order to measure is no easy task. I should do it more often, but if I get that measurement a couple times during the winter I think I've done great.
Fred is in the living room listening to Perry Como singing Christmas songs. Very traditional, and I'm going to go join him!