First snow in the gardens
It is not unusual for the first snow to fall by the beginning of December, but it is unusual that it stays. Most years we have dark and rainy long autumns, but this year a cold spell has hit us and just as it did a small storm passed us by, leaving the ground covered in a thin layer of snow. Afterwards, the skies cleared and left us with a glorious sunshine lighting up our short days. Still, I get the feeling that if I blink I will miss it - the sun is even slower than me in the mornings and only raises its head after 9 am. By half past 3 in the afternoon we are plunged into darkness again, and spend the long dark evenings mostly inside.
I don't mind the cold, but I am a bit scared of the dark (which is funny considering I live on my own so far out in the middle of no where). Added to this we have a wolf on a walk-about around the peninsula this year, which makes me even more reluctant to walk through the forest on my own at night. The wolf visited my neighbours yard the other week so it is clearly quite unafraid of human habitation, and I have no desire to meet it face to face. It is rare for wolves to attack humans, but dogs they do savagely kill. I tell Luna the cat to stay close to home and not stray too far from the house, and she meows at me. Mostly though I needn't worry - we have plenty of mice near the house and she is happy enough spending her nights chasing and catching them instead of venturing further away. She takes the greatest pride in bringing them home to me, and leaving them next to my bed while they are still alive. Although I'm less than thrilled by this nightly ritual, I do respect her work and that she thinks I'm such a great hunter that I can catch dinner myself while it is still warm. The boys in the red house, on the other hand, only get their food served cold. "I'm afraid it's an insult to get mice served dead," I tell my sons, "Luna thinks you are idiots who can't kill your own food."
Talking about food, I usually get very cranky about the deer coming into my vegetable garden and eating the fruits of my labour, but now that the frost has hit I feel more generous. The broccoli was putting on a great last minute show and produced lots of little florets towards mid November, but the deep cold that suddenly sprung upon us took its toll and left them devastated before I had a chans of harvesting the last ones. Instead, I left the gate open to the kitchen garden while I was away for my holiday so that the deer could go in and serve themselves the leftovers, which they clearly did. The tops of the broccolis are all neatly trimmed. What little is left now will have to wait until spring to be cleared away and put on the compost heap, as the ground is frozen solid and no further gardening can be done.
Instead we start Christmas preparations early, and begin decorating the houses with fairy lights. Soon the smell of gingerbread making fills the long dark evening, and then it is time to wrap Christmas presents and drink red wine while listening to old albums. I hope you have a lovely Advent time where ever you are!