The beginning of winter turned out to be fairly mild and without much heavy snow. At this time last year we were under very deep snow and very cold temperatures but the November and December of 2015 was like an extended autumn. Snow came and went and then around Christmas time winter finally decided to settle in for the season.
On a drive into town we stopped to look at a nice stand of reed grass. I'd like to grow it in our garden but have to identify this type of grass first. Some are very invasive and have become problem weeds in the province. If this is one of the good types to cultivate I might try to start some seeds. I think it would look great growing throughout the pond drainage creek.
Also while driving to town we spotted a juvenile bald eagle perched in a tree overlooking a lake. He allowed me to take a few photos and then flew across the lake. In the second photo you can see a nice waterfront home with the eagle just barely visible soaring over it.
November is the month for blizzards and birthdays around here. While the snow was flying outside blinding blizzards of birthday cake flour and icing filled the kitchen as I learned to bake. I've never made a cake before so thought it would be fun to try. The first in this series, the pink cake that looks like it was decorated by a preschooler, is Mum's birthday cake. It was a white cake with raspberry filling and raspberry jam whipped into buttercream icing. After that success I wanted to try making Devon's favorite, a "red velvet" cake. Those next two cakes were my efforts at red velvet, but without all the food coloring to actually make the cake look red. I felt the buttercream icing was too rich so this time I made a roux (ermine) icing. Roux is labor intensive but the best icing I've ever had; as good as cream cheese icing but without being quite so heavy and rich. The cakes looked a bit clumsy but as far as taste and texture went they were perfect. I didn't know I could make anything like this so I surprised myself!
Now that the cold weather is coming in we won't see many birds or much wildlife for a while. We have seen the chipmunk climbing up to the windowsill, found a praying mantis egg case and discovered a bear den under construction in the woods behind the house. I'm a little concerned about that thing. Around Thanksgiving time we saw a flock of turkeys run across our field. Down in the city if you want a turkey you can sneak up to one very carefully, reach out, grab it and put it in your shopping cart. Up here the frozen food likes to run so if you want to come home with anything you have to be fast, well armed and have a lot of stamina!
This autumn we finally tracked down an ATV and trailer to help move the firewood around. It has been a great help! Here I am teaching Devon how to drive it. He quickly got the hang of changing gears and had a great time.
And now to end 2015: a photo of a nearby lake, a view of the winter snow clouds moving in over the front yard, and the backyard pond beginning to freeze in interesting shapes and patterns caused by springs that feed the pond.