Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Foggy Dampish Days of Christmas

At first I was not looking forward to Christmas Day as the weather forecast had predicted a warm day with the sun shining so I grinned with delight when I opened the curtains in the morning to see a soggy, dripping and foggy day. Awesome, the Christmas lights would look lovely with this backdrop!
I had decided to stay at home despite having 3 invitations and so spent a lovely relaxing morning taking my time to prepare the roast dinner and then talked for a couple of hours on the phone with Mum who had already enjoyed her salmon lunch.
 The cats opened their presents and I had to chuckle as I realized they actually had more gifts than  me! Kota allowed Rosie Lee a quick turn on the new cave bed, she had no idea that she should be in it and not on it. Once they were settled I could concentrate on getting my lunch ready and since I'd done all the preparation the day before there was little to do except time the cooking of various things.
 My roast was cooked to perfection even if I say so myself and after having quaffed a couple of sherries while chatting to Mum, I was hungry. The roast potatoes and parsnips were just the right amount of crispy on the outside while tender in the middle, my sprouts and broccoli were firm and the turkey had cooked itself splendidly. The stuffing was moist and crunchy on top and the gravy was just the right consistency. I filled 2 little bowls with turkey, kibble and gravy for Kota and Rosie Lee then sat down to enjoy my meal with a glass of Merlot. Delicious!
The birds had their seed out the front of the house along with some chopped cooked giblets for the crows, and little Sebastian sat on his tree trunk and tucked into the nuts I'd laid out for him. We all munched happily and of course afterwards the inevitable snooze beckoned. With no guests to entertain, Rosie Lee and I settled down on the sofa while Kota snuggled in his new bed, which incidentally I had purchased for both of them, but he had no desire to share, so I've had to order a second one for Rosie Lee. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the grey fogginess outside which wrapped around the house like a cozy blanket while we lazed together by the soft Christmas tree lights.
On Boxing Day, or the day after Christmas Day, I had resolved to work off some of the extra calories I'd consumed and so joined a group at Manassas Battlefields for a hike. It rained all the way there but thankfully eased off when we started walking. There were only 8 of us so it didn't take long for us all to get acquainted and we chatted as we marched. We did notice how few other people were out with us on the trails, likely not ready to work off their dinners just yet.
As we walked we stopped to take photos, noticing the raindrops glinting on bare tree branches like diamonds, and the bright lichens on the wet tree trunks. We were also aware of guns shooting in the distance and laughed when Tom commented on how cool it was that they also supplied sound effects on the battlegrounds to enhance our experience. We realized it was actually the gun range at Bull Run Park.
Tom's idea of a group portrait, pretending to beheld at gun point, or I should say, 'cannon point'. We finished our hike, dry but very muddy. I was glad I'd brought spare boots and even happier later once I was relaxing after a hot shower.
The next morning was a foggy one, drippy and dank, the sky heavy with grey moisture, branches and grass laden with dew drops. I grabbed the camera and hit the back roads for a few hours.
This cow image was my favorite of the morning, with the 'star' cow staring into the lens, once I'd whistled at him a few times!
I came across an alpaca farm, and was delighted to be greeted enthusiastically by the herd. They all trotted over, took a stance and posed quite contentedly, holding their heads in different positions and looking into the lens. I noticed that they gesticulate a lot with their ears, flapping them back and forth excitedly. But they bored quickly with me and after a few minutes trotted off despite me pleading with them to stay. I drove for a while longer until the mists dissipated, lifting off the hills and leaving behind clear blue skies.

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