I looked up the hill and there was Halvor, sitting bolt upright, with what appeared to be a bushy black mustache across his mouth. I called him down, and he readily came to show me–and Effie–his catch. It was fairly large for a mouse, deep grey, with pink nose and ears. It was also either dying or already in throes. Halvor was proud of his catch, and I can’t say that I welcome mice near the house, and I was pleased with Halvor for removing a mouse from our field that might have decided to come closer to our house, or the vineyard or berries in Effieland.
Halvor carries his catch toward the shop where he eats, sleeps, and watches my husband work on various projects. Halvor will need to consume his feast outside.
Mule deer never seem thwarted by snow-blanketed fields. I enjoy their visits, and I am happy they find fodder on our modest acreage. I am also happy that they leave the rabbitbrush alone.
Snow is falling harder than it was earlier in the day. I can see individual large flakes from at least 50 yards. I wish more beautiful things were as quiet. Are you listening, Effie? Effie is rather a vocal cat, but overall she is good. . . .
Effie heads out into the deepening snow of Effieland. . .
She goes into stalking mode–she alone knows what she stalks with such savvy and grace.
First there was fluffy sleet, then finally true snow.
And where was Effie?
Washing her tummy, of course. . .
Before noon the sun and earth had escaped the freezing fog. The sun illuminated the frost and rose the temperature to a pleasantly brisk 28°F. Effie paced Effieland’s perimeter for quite a while, stopping to lick icy droplets from the tall prairie grasses, and simply enjoying her sun-gilt holdings.
Our field and frontage were also bedecked with luminous frost, which I found supernaturally beautiful as I went up to fetch the one egg our six chickens had produced, and down the other side of our property to put the trash can out for collection..
My husband, who took this photo, is building a gated fence around our small orchard, which has provided our visiting deer a feast of plums, apples, pears, and grapes. Halvor has taken up guard duty, even though fruit season is behind us for the year.