Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all...

Just a few shots around the neighborhood... we had three whole inches of snow last night, so I was just itching to get out and take some pics... unfortunately, the snow was accompanied and followed by high winds, so we didn't get any pretty accumulation on the trees...

The first pic is some mistletoe growing about 20 feet above me in a neighbors mulberry tree. It's not a great shot... When I pointed the camera up, there were a whole flock of robins. They sat, gave me take time to focus, and the split second before I took the pic... they flew off.

Little boogers.

This is my rather pitiful excuse for a Christmas tree... it's really not so bad. It's an Italian Stone Pine, Pineus pinea. A juvenile tree about 3 years old. In a couple of more years, he'll start growing longer, greener needles... If he survives. They will survive here... they're hardy to zone 7 and I'm on the line between 7 & 8... and they'll do very well through our summers, being drought resistant. But they're not really the best tree to have around... they grow into an umbrella, flat topped kind of tree. And too big for my little suburban yard. The trees are the ones that produce edible pine nuts that you pay way too much money for at the store.

I'm thinking that I could bonsai it... or maybe just grow it in a larger pot until I can figure it out, or find someone with a yard big enough.

The biggest problem will be getting him through the winter until spring, when I can do something with him. They really need a whole lot of light, and they usually won't survive inside until spring. As soon as it thaws though, I'll shove him in the coldframe. I'm not gonna shock him by throwing him out there right now though...

here's a shot of a mourning dove all fluffed up in the sun...

And finally, in the sheltered alley, some show accumulation... but not a pretty picture.

And that's about the best I could do today... I thought of getting one of the cats to come out and play in the snow for some shots. They informed me that I was quite insane, refused to discuss it further and would have locked me out of the house if they could figure out how to turn that little knob...
I had planned on going to midnight mass last night, at the church I've been attending recently, and plan on actually becoming a member of in the New Year. But the snow started yesterday afternoon, and after it ended, the wind kept up. Which means the friction of the wind melted the snow on the roads, and as soon as the wind died, it froze. I was still gonna risk it, but I was hearing sirens about every 30 to 45 minutes {I live fairly close to a major street. Whenever the sirens would go by, Dad used to joke that they were playing the "Cooper Street Blues" }
I decided that Baby Jesus was a forgiving sort, and would be more than willing to overlook my absense.
Instead, I curled up next to the truly obnoxious 5 foot tall cactus lamp, with a good book (Will Self, The Book Of Dave) and cats curled up on me. I had a very nice, mellow and blessedly peaceful Christmas Eve.
Seeing as I grew up in a household with a sibling who was later formally diagnosed as bipolar (except they called it Manic-Depresive then) peaceful holidays are my preference. I don't have a huge amount of warm fuzzy childhood memories about Chirstmas, and I have a hard time faking it for everyone elses sake, so I tend to let everybody else have their fun, and I'll have mine.
And all that is probably more than you needed to know, but there we are.
The point is, and I DO have one, is that I truly hope that everybody out there is having a wonderful holiday, no matter how you choose to celebrate it...


  1. I do wish you a happy holiday :) I think on you often. :)

  2. WOW...what a post!!! I have to tell you that I think you are wrong about the photo of succulents covered with snow! That is actually an awesome shot...well balanced and visually pleasing! It is interesting to my eye. I know I have an unusual seriously I have never seen a pic like this before that had so much going on in it. I stared at it for quite some time before moving on in the post!

    I am happy you are getting good usage of the cactus lamp!!! Awesome!

    We spent the morning with the grands opening presents and hanging out...taking a walk around their very neat apartment complex built on a sanctuary with loads of ducks and water fowl everywhere! I will have to go over and get some pics at that place one of these days!

    We will be going to our chinese buffet for dinner tonight (a tradition past 5 years or so) is a kicker to hear Christmas carols sung in English with a Chinese accent. I think you could really enjoy that sometime, Claude! Hee hee hee!

    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet kitties!!!

  3. Hello my dear Claude. Merry christmas
    How are you and your family ,I hope you are well .
    How are your garden with cold ,here not winter this year most my cacti start grow and blooms.
    I wish for you and your family in new year of the happiness and the health .

  4. I think that last photo is a great one, Claude! The two subjects don't 'go' together but there they are! Your Christmas sounded peaceful and nice...
    Happy 2010 and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better ;)