A west wind blows…

… in the Northern Rockies today.  My, if there isn’t a chill in the air!  And flakes falling lazily from the sky…

A couple weeks ago, for the opener of Antelope season, LLM and I headed down to a part of the state called The Big Hole.  We spent the weekend in and out of the truck, tracking antelope through the sage brush, and quite frankly, freezing our arses off!  We’ve had a quick and early start to the winter season this year – that weekend boasted highs in the teens.  Two weeks prior, it was 84 degrees.  The rest of this week is supposed to be in the 20s and 30s.

This quick turn to winter has robbed us of the glory of autumn.  Leaves are falling out of the trees that are still sort of green.  Maybe frozen to a lifeless brown around the edges.  And the larch in the mountains have just begun their transition to gold, but I fear we won’t see much of it before the needles just freeze off the branches.

I love fall.  And I love winter even more.

But I feel gypped.  I adore that magical time of Indian Summer, vibrant colors in the trees, final walks through the forest – warmed by the afternoon sun.

The mountains around town are socked in – they’re calling for snow above 4500 feet for the rest of today and all day tomorrow.  Not sure when we’ll see the sun again.

When it gets to this point in the year, and weather, I lose my urge to can up food.  It feels more like I should be making stews and soups, and nestling down into the quilts with a book or some sewing.  But I still have butter to can and numerous chickens in the freezer to “do something with.”  (I’m thinking more chicken soup, some plain chicken and perhaps some chicken and dumplings for quick and easy, mid-winter dinners.)

It’s been an odd weather year.  I refuse to call it global warming – especially when we had lows at 3 degrees in early October.  But there’s definitely a cold west wind blowing…

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