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October through December, 2011

Snow Dancing

We have a distinct shortage of snow this year; Bridger Bowl opened late with only one lift running. While there are a few around Bozeman who prefer less snow, most residents are thirsting for more of the white stuff and doing their own version of the Snow Dance.

Starting this quarter, we have updated our tools to conform more closely to the HTML5 standard. We have updated web pages for several years into the past as well. If any web page looks strange, see below.

Gary again won the Bridger Canyon Volunteer Fire Department silent auction for a ride in a biplane around the Bozeman area. Of course, he chose our house as one of the sights. The white in the upper left quadrant is the bone pile, now somewhat tidier after a Summer clean-up. The Carriage House is left of center, with our dump trailer parked left of it. Our little RV and Toyota pickup are parked at the lower level left (west) of the Main House. Below the right of the Main House is the terraced walkway Pauline spent a great deal of time completing, and below the left of the Main House is the garden and shed we worked on over the Summer. The dirt to the right (east) of the Main House is top soil we got from a neighbor who was building a caretaker house; we hope it will help restore the area to a more natural state. More photos from the flight can be found here. Photos from last year's flight are here.

Starting in mid-October, we took our little RV on a 4 week loop through Seattle, San Francisco, Hawaii (we flew from Oakland) and Lake Tahoe. On Maui we drove up Haleakala, the volcano forming the southeastern part of the island. This picture taken from several thousand feet up the mountain shows cane fields being burned prior to harvest (left) and a rainbow (right) caused by the incoming clouds that obscured our views from the top.

On returning home, we learned a bear had attacked our bear-proof garbage can at the west end of the house. The garbage can was scuffed up but intact. The bear has not returned.

November is hunting season and friend Ken was happy to hunt on our property again. In the past we have said “no white-tail and no moose,” but the white-tail population has increased so we told him to try for one. He bagged a doe and a 4x4 buck within a few days. The buck had an injured rear leg, so he probably would not have evaded predators this Winter anyhow. These deer are rather small, so our share of the meat will be much less than for an elk. Ken passed up a shot at a 6x6 bull elk — a real trophy for the Bridgers. He said it was close to the Main House and did not want to alarm us. We told him to take the shot next time!

In case FWP checks out our site: Ken did not know about the camera and we do not share any information with him. In fact, he got his two deer far from the camera site. We do not hunt and only use the camera to see what wildlife is on the property; we chose this site because a mountain lion killed a deer here two years ago. For more pictures from the camera, click here.

Since we will be having all the children and grandchildren for Christmas (10 plus us), Pauline started preparations early. Christmas Pudding is a necessary element of a traditional English Christmas and takes weeks to prepare. Stir the batter and make a wish! She made enough to last for several Christmases to come.

In preparation for Christmas, we wrapped the structure of the Entry with rope lights. It was cold (18°F) and windy while we were hanging the lights, so criticisms are not welcome – speed was of the essence! The 10' ladder to the left of the door was needed to do the work, and won't be put away until we finish decorating the tree. We're still a bit short on snow; there is just enough for a limited opening at Bridger Bowl.

This year we managed to cut a reasonable size tree – just a few inches short of 10'. The first year we cut our own tree, we got back to the house with a 15' tree that would not fit through the front door. We hiked around a fair amount to find this one, then Jennie helped us cut it, get it back to the house and get it set up in the stand.

The next day was spent decorating. This is perhaps the smallest tree we have cut, but it is well filled out for a 'wild' tree. The 10' ladder was useful — it can straddle the lower branches and let us get close to the top to place the uppermost ornaments. The ladder looks much taller because it is in the foreground; when it is next to the tree, they are nearly the same height.

We had established a tradition of skiing on Christmas day after opening presents and before dinner. Since the skiing was bad, we decided to have a shooting competition with guns, ammo and clay pigeons supplied by Marcus. It turns out Kendal is very good with a shotgun. In this movie, Arthur is throwing the clay pigeons for her to shoot at. She downs the clay pigeon with a single shot. She hit about 80% of the targets.

There is now a new addition to Attila's Gallery.


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