Saturday, December 1, 2012

First Snow

My subject line is a little misleading, because the first snow fell on October 13 ... just a dusting, and mixed in with hail. But it didn't cover the ground, and was soon gone, so I don't count it. :) So, yesterday we got the first real snow of the season. Molly is delighted, and I think she remembers snow from when she arrived here as a tiny puppy!

First snow December 1 

View of the barn from the deck. Note the ominous dark sky - at 9 o'clock in the morning!

First snow December 1 2012 

Winter has definitely arrived.  The view from the deck.

The other clue to the onset of winter is the nesting of animals.  We have a resident squirrel who has decided to make his home in our woodpile.  Molly is, of course, intrigued and very excited about this.

Squirrel on rafters 

Here is our house guest on the back porch rafters.

Squirrel on woodpile 

Chirping away on the woodpile.

Squirrel on woodpile 2 

He's figured out that a rather exuberant dog is close by.

Squirrel watching for Molly 

Watching for that dog.

It need hardly be said that Molly can't catch the squirrel; but she has a marvelous time trying. 

Molly in front of fire 

And here she is, warming up after a hard morning's squirrel-chasing. :)

So, now that winter has finally arrived at Willow Retreat, it's time to cozy up in front of the fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. We're excited about all the improvements and additions that we've been working on, and next winter we plan to be open for business: winter camping, snowshoeing, backcountry hiking, winter survival courses, and of course Willow Retreat's signature offerings: Reiki and meditation.

Speaking of winter survival: I'm excited to announce that our affiliated company, Survival School Canada, has a re-designed website chock-full of courses and activities for 2013. If you've ever been lost in the bush, you know what a scary feeling that is. SSC has courses on map reading and navigation, wilderness first aid, as well as survival courses from absolute beginner to expert level.  SSC operates from our home location right here at Willow Retreat in the beautiful Cape Breton Highlands.  Check it out! 

Until next time, I'll leave you with a photo of another recent visitor, enjoying a meal of fallen apples.  Molly had a good old time barking her head off at this young lady!

Moose through window 

A young lady moose snacking on fallen apples outside the sunroom.