Quantcast

«

»

Dec 22 2013

Midwintering

Happy Belated Solstice! Twas yesterday, that day when the year reaches its extreme. In this hemisphere, it’s the shortest. We’re deep in the dark and cold.

Hoarfrost on my car's side-view mirror. It made the whole car look fuzzy and adorable. This close-crop makes it look silvery-dark and a bit grim.

Hoarfrost on my car’s side-view mirror. It made the whole car look fuzzy and adorable. This close-crop makes it look silvery-dark and a bit grim.

Seattle celebrated early with a bit o’ snow, the day before the darkest day.

Snow-covered fir trees on the ridge behind my house.

Snow-covered fir trees on the ridge behind my house.

That was unexpected, and delightful, considering it didn’t make the roads horrid and yet beautified everything. There was just enough for the kids to make snowpeople with, and for Luna to get severely upset by. B tells me she gave his brother a look like he’d pulled some horrible prank on her, and was rather put out by the whole thing. I love kittens and first snows. You never know how they’ll react. Knowing Luna, she’ll be dashing through it come next snowfall.

This one, alas, didn’t last long – it was already raining by the time I hauled me arse outside for a wander.

A tiny alluvial fan of snow on the rock wall near my home.

A tiny alluvial fan of snow on the rock wall near my home.

Still, got out in it, didn’t I? Had a wander up-drumlin, and looked at all the kitty tracks showing where the neighborhood cats had been through, and the dog-and-people tracks, and all of the other things that tell you how much goes on without you ever knowing until the snow records each event. I enjoy that.

Snow atop the rather pointy dark gray glacial erratic near me house, making it look like a wee snow-capped mountain in the woods.

Snow atop the rather pointy dark gray glacial erratic near me house, making it look like a wee snow-capped mountain in the woods.

And I like the way snow turns all the well-know prosaic items into artsy little delights. I’ve seen this erratic boulder a quintillion times, but I’ve never seen it play mountain range before.

A slightly different angle, showing snow gathered in a dip on the boulder, looking very much like a glacier descending a mountaintop.

A slightly different angle, showing snow gathered in a dip on the boulder, looking very much like a glacier descending a mountaintop.

And some of the trees haven’t yet let their changed leaves go. A few drifted down into the smooth blanket of snow, and they stood out stark and wonderful.

A dark browny-red leaf lying atop the new white snow, covered in drops of water from the falling rain.

A dark browny-red leaf lying atop the new white snow, covered in drops of water from the falling rain.

Some must have fallen with the snow; they’re now half-buried within it.

Another of the same type o' leaf, this one covered with a bit o' snow.

Another of the same type o’ leaf, this one covered with a bit o’ snow.

And if I play with the brightness a bit, I end up with what looks like a white leaf on a lightbox.

Dark red leaf on brilliant white background.

Dark red leaf on brilliant white background.

This is a stark time of year, appropriate for stark sorts of images. This is the time when Misha and I tend to snuggle down, warm together, and laze away those short days with a book or dozen, all communication cut off. But this year, I have other kitty-kin to visit. And while Misha’s old and has seen it all, Luna’s having her first midwinter, and her first encounter with a Christmas tree.

Kirby swats at an ornament on a tiny Christmas tree on the table, while Luna observes closely.

Kirby swats at an ornament on a tiny Christmas tree on the table, while Luna observes closely.

You’ll notice how bare that poor little tree is. Kirby’s been after the ornaments, taking them down and running off to play with them. Luna’s learning how the thing’s done.

Luna takes her turn swatting at the ornament, while Kirby watches.

Luna takes her turn swatting at the ornament, while Kirby watches.

Kirby actually took an entire limb out of the tree at one point. Fortunately, it’s the kind of artificial tree that can withstand two active kitties. You just stick the branch back in the foam core and watch them play with their prize.

 

Kirby and Luna bat their pilfered ornament around on the table beneath the tree.

Kirby and Luna bat their pilfered ornament around on the table beneath the tree.

Kirby, like any good teacher, then left his pupil alone to practice.

Luna, by herself now, smacks at an ornament on the tree.

Luna, by herself now, smacks at an ornament on the tree.

She’s not as adept as Kirby, so it’s going to take her some time before she can easily unhook them.

Luna tries removing the ornament with her teeth.

Luna tries removing the ornament with her teeth.

Those are the things that make the absence of the sun barely noticeable. There’s plenty to enjoy.

And with that, it’s time for the cantina’s midwinter break. There are some Mount St. Helens posts scheduled, never fear, and I may pop in time-to-time for a word or picture or two, but it’ll be rather quiet round here for a few weeks while I catch up on reading and email (yegads, the box is filling up…), snuggle kitties, watch the greatest Christmas movie ever (caution – spoilers at the link), and prep for the new year.

See you for the New Year’s party, and in the meantime: may your lives be full of warmth, wonder, and possibly even some wassail. With extra brandy or sherry. Yum. Love you, my darlings!

3 comments

  1. 1
    Al Dente

    This is the first Christmas in 30 years that the wife and I have been catless. We don’t have to put the more fragile ornaments at the top of the tree. We don’t look for ornaments scattered in obscure corners. We don’t have unwrapped presents under the tree. It’s a slightly sadder and more lonely Christmas than previous ones.

    Love you, my darlings!

    Love you too.

  2. 2
    rq

    I’m glad you got some snow for the season! Somehow when everything is white, the surrounding darkness is just that much brighter.
    Our cat doesn’t tend to play with the ornaments, although he does enjoy drinking the tree’s water (we cut a real one) – we always pretend that it’s forest flavoured water and makes him feel like a wild predator (of course, after his drink of wilderness juice, he climbs up onto the radiator to sleep it off…). We have yet to notice him stealing ornaments, though you never know – I hear older cats can come up with some pretty new tricks.

    Anyway, hope you have a break full of good cheer and delicious food and great company. Love you too!! ♥

  3. 3
    Lithified Detritus

    We had almost a foot of snow on the ground, but two days of rain has pretty much done away with it. :-(

    Still, enjoying some time off with friends & family.

    Warmest regards and happy holidays to all!

Comments have been disabled.