Beginning of Winter

After a warmer than usual Autumn, we finally got a cold spell over the past couple of weeks, turning the remaining leaves pretty colors. Most of the trees are bare now, but a few remain here and there.  This picture is from the last week in November, early morning mist is settled in the valley with clouds low over the distant mountain ridge.

Mountain Living in December at

The deer are migrating.  This little group has been around most of the summer, and the little ones have finally lost their spots.

Mountain Living in December at

There are two adult females and three little ones.

Mountain Living in December at

Clarence is getting really big!  He stops by several times a week for a bit of bread and to peck at the seeds dropped from the feeder.

Mountain Living in December at

I think he spends the winter here.  He’ll get a bit of peanut butter on his bread handout if he is here when it freezes.

Mountain Living in December at

This guy is a new visitor, a young black bear.  He was here one morning with the idea of getting to our bird feeder.

Mountain Living in December at

Fully stretched out, he is about 5 feet to the top of the head, and we think weighs about 100 pounds.  He was pulling on the pole, shaking it back and forth, trying to get the feeder to fall off the top.

Mountain Living in December at

When that didn’t work, he sat down on the ground and used the pole to scratch his back.  We stood at the glass door and laughed at that.

Mountain Living in December at

Then he got up for a second try.  At this point, I got out an aluminum pan and a wooden spoon, and stepped barely out of the door to bang them together to make a lot of noise.  I was really surprised that he wasn’t that startled by that, and only stopped to look at me.  Usually any loud noise will scare them off.  DH and I began to shout and make more noise, and he decided then that it was too much trouble and ambled off.

Mountain Living in December at

Up on the feeder, lots of little birds were chowing down.

Mountain Living in December at

We have a bluebird who has been here for a couple of weeks.

Mountain Living in December at

The little goldfinches have almost completed changing to their winter colors.

Mountain Living in December at

A woodpecker stopped by too.

Mountain Living in December at

Inside, my Thanksgiving cactus bloomed beautifully, with red flowers on one side…

Thanksgiving Cactus 2018 Blooms at

and gorgeous fuschia on the other.

Thanksgiving Cactus 2018 Blooms at

A pretty white bloom with a blush of pink flowered a day or two later.  There are many buds and it may in fact bloom again before Christmas.

Thanksgiving Cactus 2018 Blooms at

Yesterday, the snow began in the afternoon, and by evening it was starting to stick.

First Snow December at

I made a suet cake for the birds as I knew the next day they would need the extra calories.

First Snow December at

Then, this morning, we woke to this –

First Snow December at

I didn’t measure it yet, but I think the forecast of at least 10 inches of snow was right.

First Snow December at

The birdfeeder had snow in the bottom, and was covered in little birds trying to get a meal on this cold morning. It is sleeting right now. There’s a junco on the lower feeder, must be hungry as they prefer to eat off the ground. A bluebird hangs off the suet feeder.  DH put on his coat and went out to clear it off before he had breakfast.

First Snow December at

We are warm and dry inside today, and the power is still on. I made Blueberry Turnovers for breakfast and we are nicely supplied to be snowed in for several days.  I plan lots of football games today, Christmas movies tomorrow with lots of sewing, stamping, crafting and creating two tablescapes.  I hope you are having a nice weekend, what are your plans?

23 thoughts on “Beginning of Winter

  1. Beautiful photographs….such great images of life here in Western North Carolina. We haven’t measured our snow amount yet either……..but since it continues to come down….it would quite tell the tale yet. Thankfully, we still have power!

  2. How do you make your suet cakes? We normally purchase them, so I’m interested. The little junco around here feed from both feeder and ground. I love to watch their little “hop scratch” while ground feeding. Everything just looks pretty when covered with fresh snow! Thanks for sharing the lovely post.

  3. Linda B

    Yes, here’s to not losing electricity. We’re 15 degrees and dry here in the midwest this morning. Very thankful for a hard working furnace. I am working on quilting a little valentine table topper…hoping enough time before then to finish! Maybe do a few Christmas cards today…have already received a few in the mail! Glad to know it is a Thanksgiving cactus…that is the kind I have. It is quite lovely right now! Stay warm!

  4. Rosemaryflower

    We enjoyed the before and after photos.
    Enjoy the snow indoors, so much better. Hopefully you get out for some fresh air later
    That young bear is hilarious. I love the shot where he is stretched out and we can see his tummy.
    Animals are so sweet. I love them….. okay to a limit.
    Yesterday was my birthday and I stayed inside all day!!!!! My sister went to see my dad, and I sewed all day (and caught up cleaning, yes, so fun ha)
    We missed out on this snow completely. I am kind of glad about that.

  5. lv2bquilting2

    Good morning Carole…..I had read that you were going to be hit by a winter storm, and wondered if you would actually get as many inches as forecasted, but there it is, in all it’s glory. I love seeing all your wildlife photos, and while we have most of the same wildlife as you, we don’t have the bears wandering around, looking for food. What we do have, is Da Bears, Chicago’s football team, and love watching their antics on the football field. I just love all the pictures you share with us, especially the wildlife. We had a mama deer and her triplets wandering around in our yard, which backs up to some woods, all summer, and it was so much fun watching them. I know we’re not supposed to feed them, but whenever I baked, using apples, I would bag up the cores and peels, and put them where we usually saw the deer hang out, and hope they got to them before the possums and raccoons did.

  6. You are wise to have such a firm pole for the bird seed! We weren’t so wise. Ha, ha! We had a bear completely bend our pole to the ground to get the seed. Now our feeder hangs high on a branch in an oak tree.

  7. Loris Mills

    Beautiful and fun winter scenes. I hung up suet like you have but the crows completely destroyed the cages! Rowdy group here apparently. LOL

  8. Patricia Evans

    For once you got the snow and we didn’t. It’s sunny but cold here in western NY, about 33 degrees. It’s good to see the sun as most of the time we are cloudy. I guess I could add not having a resident bear to my gratitude list. Now I need to resume getting the Santas out and on display. Keep warm, stay off the roads.

  9. I too thank you for this post….I love when you share about all your little (and BIG) visitors. Amazing the difference a day of snow can make. Keep warm my friend.

  10. allisonreidnem

    Always lovely to see the range of wildlife that comes visiting your garden. I’d be a bit anxious knowing there’s a hungry bear roaming around. No scary animals here in the gentle countryside of Hampshire UK!

  11. Lovely post, it is wonderful to see the visitorw to your place, love the bear photos, he must be used to people to not be bothered too much by noise? The snow is amazing and such a contrast to here, we had 40 deg C at the end of last week.

  12. Susan Shaw

    I live in a bedroom community of Tulsa, OK. We were on the supposed cusp of rain/sleet/snow. The Tulsa Christmas parade was moved to next weekend due to the earlier forecast of definite snow. The governor had already pre-declared state of emergency for the entire state. Here we got a little bit of rain, no sleet, and no snow. Part of the south/western part of the state got snow which I understand is basically unheard of for them. Other areas near hear cancelled Christmas parades and did not reschedule them. Some of the bands have conflicts and there are problems storing some of the floats for a period of time.
    I grew up in central West Virginia and we almost always had a white Christmas. Sometimes it was whiter than others. My dad had planted pine trees on the hill behind our house and around the hill to deter soil eroision. He had planted them in sections at different times, so we had a fresh Christmas tree. I miss that.
    I am going to a widow’s Christmas luncheon/dirty Santa gathering next Monday. I had planned to take your blueberry turnovers. One of my best friends was not happy about that. She wants me to take my scalloped potatoes. They are not difficult. I buy Yukon golds. I just scrub them well and do not peel them. I have an attachment for my mixer which slices them very thinly. I put a stick of butter in the bottom of the pan and put it in the oven to melt the butter. Then I just put the pan under the attachment and put the potatoes right into the pan. I then put already grated cheese over the potatoes. She can’t eat onions, so I either don’t put onions in the potatoes or finish the potatoes and take some out for her and cook them separately and then use the same attachment for the onions. I then put salt and pepper into the pan and stir. I then cover the mixture with milk. (At this point, I add the onions and restir, if I had to take some out for my friend). I cover the pan(s) with foil and put them in the oven and then I’m ready to get dressed for the event. Sometimes, I remove the foil at the end to let them get a little brown on them. I learned this easy trick from my mom. It is so very easy. You may guess that I grew up on a dairy farm. My son doesn’t like onions but he will eat onion salt – my friend will not. I still want to make the blueberry turnovers.
    I have no idea what to get for a gift. It can be a good gift or a funny gift. It’s capped at $20. Last year I took a nice Yankee Candle. I don’t know many of the ladies very well. I don’t think many of them cook being that we are all widows and most of us live alone and many of us don’t have family near. I had thought about making a tablerunner but I have been ill and in the hospital and I don’t want to push myself that much.
    Thanks for the pictures of the delightful snow. I laughed at your banging pots and pans and then shouting at the bear.

  13. I suppose it’s really dangerous but what a treat to have a bear visit your yard. My daughter was reading this post over my shoulder. She said, “I suppose you would go out to visit the bear, wouldn’t you? Or maybe even put out something so it would continue to come around.” Indeed, I believe I would. Lucky you!

  14. Sue H

    I’m going to try making my own suet after reading this. Usually I buy the pre-made ones but I have all the ingredients already. My brother lives in Archdale NC and his wife texted me pictures today of the snow. Wow! NC sure got dumped on this time! Enjoy the peace.

  15. Kathleen

    I always enjoy your wildlife pictures. I never knew that goldfinches change their color in winter! You have more snow than us here in western New York State. My niece lives in North Carolina and she posted a picture of a yardstick in her snow and it was up to the 11 inch mark! Her two daughters were also enjoying some sledding down a hill in their yard.

  16. dezertsuz

    I love your wildlife stories! Your little snow was here first, but it dropped less than 2″ of its load on us and hurried over to your house! LOL We were melted by noon the next day, except for the snowmen children built. I’m still hearing the birds a fair amount, but I don’t see them much.

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