Friday, February 27, 2015

On My Travels

  To sunny Montana, which is likely to be far warmer than western New York. I hope the ski-ing's good. See you next week. Watch this space!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's Friday, It's Five o' Clock And It's....

No hang on a minute, that's not what I was thinking of!  Culture Clash Alert! (Oh and anyone under 35 had better look away now).  In Britain, Crackerjack was a beloved children's TV programme - anyone remember? The one we were allowed to watch before we had to do our homework, where they had that weird quiz with the cabbages? Leslie Crowther? Peter Glaze?

And, oh my goodness, Eamonn Andrews! Don't worry, American friends, you didn't miss much.

And now I find out that, in America, Cracker Jack is a sort of caramel popcorn, of which a little goes a very long way. But, hubby assures me, no less beloved in his own country.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Florida Flashbacks

   I think we all need some thawing out, so here are some congenial memories of Florida. Like the sunrise outside our front door one morning.

A Florida flame vine.

 Something else exotic

And just for Woody and his friend, some ibises enjoying a snack.

 I can't believe it's all in the same country.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Enough is Enough

When it's so cold that I can't even go outside to take a photograph but have to take it out of the window, things are getting ridiculous.

It just never seems to end.  I've never experienced cold like this. Biting, piercing, murderous cold. If anyone else mentions global warming to me again, they're going to get the sharp end of my tongue. The Americans like to call it "brutal" and if I got a thousand dollars for every time I've heard that word this week....
  The birds seem to be doing OK though. The juncos are too clumsy to reach the feeder, so they search for the crumbs from the table.

And the suet is fast running out, so Woody has to resort to contortions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

From the Chiller to the Freezer

  Did I say it was cold? It's more than cold. It was minus thirty degrees Celsius when we woke up yesterday. And in a place in Pennsylvania down the road it was minus thirty degrees Fahrenheit today. One place near Buffalo airport broke a cold record which had stood since 1904. Welcome to global warming western New York style. I can't even stick my nose outside without bundling up like Scott of the Antarctic.
  Below is what happened to a drink in a paper cup left in our visiting friends' car overnight, being held up by its straw..

 But there were beautiful scenes at Holiday Valley.

And some wonderful snow when we did manage to ski - before Sunday when it just got too cold. By Saturday afternoon there was a near white-out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Winter Fun Update

Update: Suspect from a previous mugshot.


It's getting deeper..

And it's getting colder. Much colder. Though he's happy.

But then we looked out the window and said "OH NO!"

Our beautiful arborvitae, standing guard at the entrance to the drive, shorn like poodles.  I made a bad mistake in the autumn, forgetting to put the deer netting back up. As if the temperatures weren't bad enough, the deer are continuing with their perpetual revenge and each year they find a new target.  This is what I came to America for, to wage a constant battle against the four-footed fiends and Nature in general. They're closing in. Every night, they surround the house. At least they're not giraffes, hubby remarked.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Blue Moon

A few days ago on our lane. Sadly the last ever photo taken with my beloved little Canon SX120 before it expired, succumbing to the deadly lenserrorrestartcamera disease. Farewell, good and faithful servant.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Little Town in the Snow

I mean, City. I keep forgetting that Olean New York is in fact a city, even though it's about the size of Woking.

Currently most of the streets, with their sweet wooden houses look like this.

The bushes capped with white are a picturesque touch.

And this is the YMCA car park. Looks almost like Buffalo's Snowmageddon a few weeks ago,

So the massive storm that the wimps in New York city were so terrified of and which never materialised, came to us instead.  I have rediscovered the pleasures of snow-shovelling. In fact I was rediscovering the pleasures of snow-shovelling a couple of days ago and nearly killing myself in the process. I'd just finished when the helpful neighbour with the snowplough in front of his pickup truck showed up with a smile and a wave.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Back in the Freezer

 Dateline Cattaraugus County, Western NY

Alas we are back to winter with a vengeance. Serves you right, it's telling us, for trying to escape.

From this...

To this

In just a few short hours. (That's a flower planter under there, in case you wondered). As are these.

And that was before it snowed even more last night, so a kind friend with a snow blower had to come and dig us out again.

Returning, we found the front garden churned up as though a herd of elephants had been playing the Six Nations in it.

The deer must have been having fun. And who had been on the porch?