Sunday, January 04, 2009

Of snow and snow and jackrabbits...



It's been one of those winters when I'm sure I know what it must be like to live in the Arctic Circle. We're northerners who are used to tough winters, but so far, this one's been a doozy. Not only is there plenty of snow, but plenty of cold to go with it. Most nights the temperature sinks below the Zero Mark and most days do not reach 20*. Just 55 miles south of us, there is no snow and people actually know what Freezing (32* F) feels like. In the picture above, our eldest son is moving snow away from his house which is on the west side of the shelter belt from us. They've been literally buried in snow drifts. The attachment on the back of the tractor is a snow blower which uses a couple rotary gizmos to suck up the snow and then blows it out the side. It's fun to watch.



I took a good walk on my snowshoes today. The temp was just at 20 degrees and the sun was shining so I bundled up and trudged around on the snow drifts near the shelter belts, trying to keep out of the wind. By the end of my walk, I was working up a sweat. Above, do you see two ears sticking up? (click to enlarge)



The jackrabbits have moved in closer to the shelter belts and buildings for protection and food. They scamper all over the place and really give our dogs chase. Here, I've caught Peter Rabbit in mid-hop.




Here and there amongst the snowdrifts, you'll find a hole like this where jackrabbits will literally "hole up" for the night. Likely more than one will be in this deep hole.



Walking on the high drifts of snow, I feel like I'm a little closer to touching the moon! And how about that clear, blue sky?



I took this picture because I can see that there's been a rabbit slumber party going on here. See all the tracks together and all the digging? Now upon closer look.....



....you can see where they've dug-in a little bit for shelter to keep out of the wind and cold. It doesn't take much of a hole for them to cuddle up and stay warm. The snow was much softer here and would be easier to tunnel in for the night.



After a good, hearty walk, I treated myself to Affogato. I know, I didn't know what that was either until just a few days ago when the UPS man brought my new cookbook: Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics by Ina Garten. Oh, what glorious recipes are in this book! I've never owned one of Ina Garten's books, but I'm thrilled with this one. You'll find Affogato Sundaes in the dessert section. Here's the simple *recipe* (altered to what I have on hand).

Affogato Sundae

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
2 t. Bailey's Irish Creme (or Kahlua) - opt.
2 T. (or more) of hot espresso
Chocolate-covered espresso beans - opt.
whipped cream

Scoop ice cream into a bowl and pour over the Irish Creme, Espresso and sprinkle with chocolate-covered coffee beans. Top with whipped cream and serve with hot coffee! I made this one other night and only used espresso over the ice cream, no choco-covered beans, and no whipped cream. It was excellent that way too. Try it!

(If your making espresso with a regular electric coffee maker, use 1/3 c. ground espresso and 4 c. water)



Day is done.
Happy New Year!

17 comments:

  1. Love the photos, especially that first one of the rabbit hole. It's almost Georgia O'Keefe-looking!

    I admire your ability to "weather" this!

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  2. Laura, I love your "Georgia O'Keefe-looking" comment! Upon second glance, it DOES look Georgia O'. Thanks!

    Jody

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  3. Great pictures! I love the snow when it has those various shades of blue. We're snowed in this winter too - which is great for the snow-mobilers and skiers. Our neighbour just opened up a cross-country ski trail. I'm looking forward to trying it out. When you have snow you have to bundle up, get out and enjoy it!

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  4. Oh my! What gorgeous photos. That last one is amazing! I know it is nothing in comparison but the Seattle area has also experienced some of the most snow that has hung around for the longest time in years. I love Ina!! I'll have to see if I have this cookbook of hers...Stay warm!!

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  5. Super interesting post, Jody! And your photos are just beautiful. Love it!

    Susan

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  6. I loved reading this and seeing your fantastic pictures! You have my deepest admiration for going walking AND eating ice cream in weather like this!

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  7. Wow, that snow is beautiful! I think you're so lucky to have such a winter landscape. When we lived in MN, I loved to bundle up and go for a walk on a beautiful day and I was always surprised that if I was dressed properly, I was always warm!

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  8. Jody, Your words, the pictures, and music all have given me a nice tranquil break from my routine today. I can't have the beautiful landscape, but, you've reminded me of Ina's brownies that I just so happen to have the ingredients! Love you and your blog! Abby

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  9. Snow and Affogato Sundae, heaven xoxoxo Clarice

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  10. Jody, that dessert looks absolutely wonderful! Enjoy the snow... we've had very little so far this winter.
    :-(

    Kim :-)

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  11. Such beautiful photos. I especially liked the one with the "hidden rabbit"! I too love getting out for afternoon walks. Today, my daughter and I noticed many rabbit tracks, also fox! Thank you for sharing.

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  12. I thought it was cold here! "Barefoot Contessa" is the only American food programme we get in the UK. I think she's great...and brave...I love the way she combines 1/2lb butter, chocolate and peanut butter and calls it a brownie...she doesn't believe in half measures!

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  13. Island Sparrow, you know all about snow, don't you? I hope you do get a chance to x-country ski. I used to to a little of that, but I prefer the snowshoes -- a better grip on the snow.

    Ellen B, I've been watching the weather on the Pacific Coast. Amazing. I'll bet you're enjoying a "change of seasons."

    Susan, thanks for the comments on the photos. Santa brought me the gift of a new camera and I have much to learn.

    Leslie, I can always eat ice cream....in sun or snow!

    Thimbleanna, you're right, having the proper bundling makes all the difference when being out in the cold. Finding the right boots to walk in and be warm in is the hardest thing for me when it gets so cold.

    Abby, I'm glad you enjoyed a little change of scenery while visiting here.

    Storybookwoods, yes, affogato ANYTIME, any season.

    Kim, thanks for stopping by. It'll be a warmer day here today (32*) and so I'll be out on the snow walking again.

    Learning to Follow, I'm glad you found the bunny ears. I am always clicking my camera in search of the photo that is just right.

    Dulce Domum, well, at least you've got a very good US cooking program there. I love to watch her cook on TV. And I like the ingredients she uses....butter and cream. Are you having an especially cold winter in the UK?

    Jody

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  14. Beautiful pictures. I wish we would get some snow...but it hasn't made it down here this year. Guess I will just have to enjoy yours!

    Thanks for the pictures.

    ~M~

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  15. Stunning....just stunning!
    Jody, you are excelling with your photography....could it be that new camera that Santa brought you?
    Do tell all!
    I loved this walk and the narrative to go along with the stunning photography!
    Winter at it's finest!
    And,
    I took the Barefoot Contessa Book out of the library and will be studying it in the days to come.
    Enjoy yours!
    love,
    Joanne

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  16. Nice pics Mom! looks like you are having a hay day with your new camera!

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  17. Ranch Wife, I'm sorry you're not getting snow. We'd be willing to share some with you!

    Joanne, I'm so glad you enjoyed stopping in and looking at pictures. Yes, I'm having fun with Santa's new gift. I have much to learn yet, but "auto" works great for now.

    Grace, I AM enjoying my pocket camera so much.

    Jody

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