Solstice Etc.

I meant to get this post up on 21st, but….. So you can wish yourselves a Happy Solstice, Christmas, New Year, Hanuka, Diwali, or whatever way you normally welcome the earth’s turning point towards the new solar year.  If you would like to read a written account of my year, go to the newsletter page on this blog.

One of the things that kept me busier than expected was, of course, the cat.

1. Ruby 1It is hard to get a good picture of her as she normally sleeps during daylight hours and is active only at night.  She has the prettiest feet!

2. Ruby 2The first two nights she miaowed constantly.  She occasionally jumped onto my bed and enjoyed a stroke, when she purred frantically, but never stayed long.  Needless to say, I got very little sleep!  But now she has calmed down and learned to use the litter box.  She didn’t eat either for the first 2 days, but is gobbling everything in fine form now.

My dogs chase anything that moves and occasionally kill small animals so I was quite worried about Ruby’s safety.  Before she came, I built a cage out of a small room off the living area, that will eventually become a bathroom (when I can afford a hot water system.)  First I drilled holes in an upright 2 x 4.

2a drillFrom them I hung mesh screens that are part of a booth I sometimes use for craft fairs.  The doors worked very well.  The one on the left is higher to allow a cat-sized hole at the bottom so if Ruby and the dogs were inside, and my back was turned, she could easily escape.

2b mesh gatesWhen I came home with Ruby, I also brought a cat door, which I installed high in the wall between the living room and an outer room, which doubles as a shop and a place for the insulated dog kennels.  The height was advisable for 2 reasons: one so the cat could move around out of reach of the dogs, and the second was that the air coming in would not be so cold as it would if I had put the cat flap on the floor.  Then of course I had to build a shelves on the other side of the wall to allow the cat to get up and down there.

3. shop jungle gymI also built shelves with the cat in mind in the outer porch.  I don’t have a cat door for that wall yet – one will have to come from Williams Lake on a freight truck.

4. porch jungle gymSo I do have an excuse of sorts for being late with this post.

In the mean time, the old solar year came to an end.

5. last day of old year.The forecast was for snow and colder weather.  We had a few centimetres of snow but never got the cold.  30 km west, however, they had 14″ snow (35 cm), and about the same distance east they had tons of snow.  Friends the other side of Williams Lake have 1.5m already!   Why this narrow area between Kleena Kleene and Tatla Lake is virtually snowless is a mystery.

For the first two days of the new solar year, it was simply mild and grey.  The mountains were invisible.  Sunrise on the 24th was dramatic – typically a red-sky-in-the-morning warning.

8. red sky in morning


9 red skyThe sun shone for a short while after it cleared the southern ridge.  I have a door that opens onto my deck.  By sitting in the living room I can bask in the sunlight out of the wind that would make sitting on the deck uncomfortable.  This is a glorious way to get my Vit D!

6. 3 days laterBut mostly the weather has continued mild, dull and windy.  It hasn’t even frozen at night.  It has not been a pretty winter so far.  Snowmelt has run over the ice on the river.

10 riverIt is so mild we even have robins.  We don’t usually see those until April.

11 robin



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6 thoughts on “Solstice Etc.”

  1. Hi, and happy everything to you too. Ruby is lovely, I’m sure she’ll settle in well. She’s lucky to have found a home. We visited my son and is family just after Christmas and as we were driving back from right near the Tropic of Capricorn, with its harsh dry brown landscape, I thought of you and your climate.

    I hope it’s a good year for you and your animals.
    Rhondajean recently posted…I wishMy Profile

  2. Candy cane toes.
    Hopefully dogs and cat become used to each other and you can get the grids back in time for 2014 shows.
    Those morning photos are breath-taking
    We had a difficult ice storm here with the loss of many trees (I won’t mention the grid aspect).

    Have a wonderful remainder of 2013
    Barbara recently posted…Merry MerryMy Profile

  3. The reason for getting less snow than either the West or East of your location is that you are situated in the rain shadow of the Coast Ranges. The sawmill at Anahim air dries its lumber, as you likely know, due to local conditions. Always interesting stories- many more to come I hope! all the best for the new year.

  4. Ruby is a cat, got it! Perfect name for a beautiful cat. Never seen cat feet like hers. II have a black
    Cat, part Siamese, I think, who talks a lot. Does Ruby?
    SamCat has, like, a vocabulary….diff sounds mean specific things.
    Like ” my food dish is low,” or ” birds at the window!”

    So good of you to take Ruby in. Hope all goes well.
    Margaret, of Indiana where, yes, it’s been snowy and freezing!

  5. Ruby is a beautiful cat Chris! Her feet are indeed unique. I love how you have considered her welfare to such an extent. She will surely appreciate it. I would like to be notified of your posts. I always check anyway but would love to know when you post anew.

  6. Does not surprise me that Ruby only took two days to acclimate herself. She is very pretty and I would bet she is as soft as a rabbit.
    Don’t know quite what to think of this winter. The Midwest in the US has been hit pretty hard but out west we have only had one cold spell. We have very little snow at our mountain place. The Farmer’s Almanac does predict snow and cold in January – – we’ll see if it is true !!

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