African Garden + [Weather]

Frigid Friday: A Holiday Story

Cherry the squirrel munches on frozen crabapples after another night with with lows near 0F. The Mum has finally given up the ghost without its protective snowblanket. It's not as cold today, with the snowflakes dancing past my window. Here's a bit of irony: deer tracks next to my wooden reindeer decoration.

I suspect the deer was looking to snack on my Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey,' but was put off by the deer repellent I sprayed on it.
Out back, I found blood in the snow. It looks like some creature swooped down and scooped up and carried off some other creature for a meal.

I'm imagining one of the owls I hear occasionally, descending on some poor mouse, shivering in the cold. Death on a whisper of wings.
Seeing blood in the snow reminded me of Terry Pratchett's "Hogfather," a holiday story for those tired of sickly sweet, heartwarming holiday tales. The book is wonderful. If you don't have time to read it now, you could watch a DVD of the TV miniseries. In addition to poking lighthearted fun at Christmas (there's a wonderful send up of "A Christmas Story"), it also has a deeper message (several, in fact, including what it means to be human). But I don't want to spoil it. Read it or watch it. It makes a nice change of pace from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," or (heaven forbid) "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."