The last week of November, Bruce and I drove to Dorris to have Mexican lunch. By the time we arrived at noon, the freezing fog was burning off a ridge of mountains to the north, near the Oregon border where it spills over from Lower Klamath Lake.
A series of warm storms from the Pacific, called Pineapple Express, blew through, dropping a lot of rain, but no flooding here. A seasonal stream runs past our house, down Apple Street, from a spring higher up on the ridge behind the house. Wet, black, crinkled bark on oaks is fuzzing over with fresh, velvety, green moss. High 50-degrees F Low 43. 10-degrees C/6C.
Between squalls a ruby crowned kinglet flits about the Boston ivy berries.
Fresh and white, Mt Shasta, Baise Shan, dominates the sky, overlooking nearby McCloud while Christmas shopping for the baby granddaughter. Bruce found mantles for an Aladdin lantern. Happily, I found licorice shoelaces for the mouse tails, wound in a flat spiral.
McCloud is an unincorporated town, population 1,101. Hudson Bay trappers were the first documented white men to arrive at this location in 1829. Others followed, and in 1892 a lumber mill was built, combined with the construction of a railroad, and the fortunes of the locals improved. The mill closed in 1963, starting a gradual decline in jobs for families; it is now home to remaining locals and retired émigrés from the San Francisco bay area.
That night we spied on a sleek, Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus in the backyard. Standing in the warm in the kitchen nook, we watched the fox zigzag from the compost pile across the railroad tie stairs and back up the grassy hill, disappearing into inky, green-black shadow. The common gray fox has been crowded out of its habitat in the eastern US but is dominant in the west. An noteworthy trait of the gray fox is its ability to climb trees, something it shares with Asian Raccoon dog. This allows it to escape predators such as domestic dogs and the coyote. They mate for life.
Tree-lighting in downtown lasts only a few minutes. The Garden Club decorates a tree and provides cookies and cocoa. Santa (Big Dave our neighbor and city councilman) and Mrs Claus (Tammy) entertain the children while we try singing Jingle Bells in the freezing cold.
BREAKFAST LETTER TRAVELOGUE
Feng, from Beijing, was attending a meeting in Guilin in Quangxi province last month. She’s sharing her images with us.
“the pic which looks like meat are some stones, haha, it is very Realistic, the next is Longsheng terraced, there is some water , Yangshuo Yulong River rafting Guangxi scenery - Hongyao long-haired woman I want to recommend,u can see some pics: http://www.17u.com/blog/article/1049748.html good luck! expect for see u again here! Fh”
This link is to a 23 minute long video from the tourist bureau in Yangshuoren, amazing and gorgeous production values preceded by 30-second animated trailer or ad in Chinese.
More fun for Chinese culture fans:
click on Christmas card from Feng. If you have your own QQ account, click on the orange buttons. If not, click on blue characters below orange buttons.
I’m skipping the book feature this month, instead attaching files of Duncan the Steam Engine stories Bruce made for children to enjoy at Christmas over the years. We’re calling this collection The Best of Duncun. 2013 production is scheduling an international theme with Duncan visits cities of the World. The scenes are shot on Bruce's HO layout.
See you later