Hey guys, I posted all these pics on Facebook, but wanted to put them here as well, for those that don't FB. :-)
We went out to the national forest to harvest our Christmas tree this last weekend. It's one of my favorite field trips, because we usually get to play in the snow. I've been wanting to go since Thanksgiving weekend, and this was the first weekend that the weather cooperated with my husbands schedule. So here's how it went down...
Ron was out in the shop turning down rod handles (making custom fishing rods for Christmas presents) until about 2:00 p.m.. He finally came in to warm up. While sitting at the table drinking cocoa he pulled out his cell and called our daughter. She was shopping. He asked her if she & her husband wanted to go with us. They weren't having a tree this year, as they were moving. They were supposed to move this weekend but the house wasn't ready yet. The two of them discussed when it would best fit into their schedule, then she rang off to see what her husband thought about it. They rounded themselves up and arrived at our house at 3:00, or so. Well, they were quite fragrant from being out shopping but figured they'd take their own car, so no big deal. However, Ron wanted everyone to go in the same car, as its more fun, so there was a scramble to find clothing appropriate for tromping about in the snow. Alex (my daughter) is 7 months pregnant. I bought her a very comfortable dress, that would expand with her, to change into when she came over, but that's hardly conducive to outdoor winter activities. She was a very good sport about the wild outfit we came up with. GFETE though pics were off limits.
By 4:00 we all piled into the minivan (all wheel drive) and set off. The roads were clear and traffic was light so there wan't too much of an issue with keeping the windows defrosted. Because the road fumes from other vehicles come in with the outside air, you have to switch to the cabin recirc mode when there are other vehicles nearby, especially diesels. :-( We had a pretty good trip up, with some light chatting and catching up on the kids lives. I didn't even try to get them to sing Christmas carols. They won't. :-(
As we climbed into the mountains we passed through a fog bank and into the snow. By the time we got there it was full dark. This is a first, tree harvesting in the dark. It was very beautiful. The diffused moonlight glooming over the snow laden valley. The dark silhouettes of coniferous trees. The peace of wilderness with only the faint echoes of the highway, some distance away. :-) It was a good thing there was snow to refract the moonlight. The batteries on my car flashlight were completely dead.
We all piled out, and Rosie was thrilled! She actually dislikes riding in the car. But she loves seeing new places. She greeted the snowy landscape with enthusiasm. I gave her the release command and she took off running in big loping arcs. Out through the clearing she sprang, diving through drifts like a seal through the waves. The two legged members of our party lumbering far less gracefully, zigzagging from tree to tree. "What about this one?" I call, plowing t'word a 4' specimen, deeply flocked with snow. Ron waded over to give it a shake, humoring me. He and Alex like 9-12 footers (they don't have to decorate them). Predictably they both veto my choice. Rosie bounds over to stick her head in the tree to see what was so interesting, then dives away. Alex is pointing out humongous trees from the the snowed over track. Rosie & I are leaping (her) and tromping (me) through the meadow. I just find what could be the perfect tree, about 5', when I hear Ron and Alex behind me and to the west exclaim,
"This is it! This is the tree we're getting." So Rosie & I head back to the group. They've picked out a 7 footer.
"Fine" I say, counting my blessings its not 12'; which, trust me, they've done to me before, and tied to my van. @@ (rolling my eyes)
Justin gets the honors and cuts down the tree, and Ron hauls it back. the two of them bind it to the roof of the car with bailing twine. Yeah, we're farmers. I spend the time snapping pics of Rosie, whenever she happens to be playing in the snow within flash range. :-) So here's some photos for you. O' when Ron brought it in the next evening we discovered the trunk had a huge wowee, like a C! That will teach us! LOL