Here it is, the longest night, and almost Christmas Day 2016, and here in upstate NY we have pretty snow everywhere. It is time to work through the seed catalogs and dream of next summer's bounty.
The story of our year begins with the week before last Christmas (2015) which was such a delight. My brother, Jim, gave us and his kids and grandkids a glorious week in Telluride, CO. There was a lot of skiing, snowmobiling, quiet reading/knitting before the fire, great food, and lots of fun and warm companionship.
We have two dogs now, Rush, who just turned 11 and Teasel, who is still very much a puppy at going on 2 years old.
Teasel started his training for herding this year. So far he mostly just wants to chase the sheep. But our teacher assures me that he will settle down and become a fine herding dog. We will see....
In May, John headed west in the motorhome, landing in Olympic National Park, WA. I joined him for a week when we celebrated the high school graduation of grand-daughter, Sarah Smith with others in the Smith clan, and then we spent several days sight-seeing and hiking in the park. One sad thing: when we visited there quite a few years ago, one thing I loved was the banana slugs and this year we found very few. Consulting with the park rangers we learned that an invasive slug is competing with them and also preying on their eggs. It would be very sad to see them vanish. However (see later on), there are still plenty of them farther north in British Columbia.
Here is a family picture on graduation day:
I made this quilt to mark Sarah's big accomplishment
After I flew back home to take care of the homestead, dogs, garden, etc. John continued with his adventures in Olympic NP, Theodore Roosevelt NP, etc. Here are just a few of his pictures....Others can be seen by clicking the button below: