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Jan. 1, 2018
It's a cold day in January when the dog shall lie down with the cats.   Mostly the dog defers to the cats, that have gotten the couch first anyway...


Jan.2
It has snowed twice, ending with an icy covering, and today the sun was out evaporating some snow and highlighting the delicate filigree of ice seemingly suspended in mid-air like a splash of water...

This was along Spirit Lake today, supported at each end.  Probably gone within an hour in the bright sunlight...

Jan. 12
We got 7 inches of snow in the latest storm.  It's easy to measure because after each snow it warms up enough to form a crust, kind of like rings in a tree...
Our friends got us a big bird feeder recently, and it attracted a new one (to us)

This is an LBJ (little brown jobber), hard to identify.    We finally decided it is a common redpoll, that spends its summers on the tundra.  It likes to eat birch seeds, and we have a birch right by the feeder ( which it also has been hanging out in, eating sunflower seeds slowly with its small beak).  In this photo it was drinking drips off our roof and snatching bits of snow as well...  The photo doesn't show the reddish brown topknot which is its namesake.  Turns out poll is Middle English for top of the head, and probably also the source for "poll" tax (tax per head).  So here's another shot:


Books read and other media of note
Dark Run and Dark Sky and Dark Deeds by Mike Brooks A scifi trilogy (with room for more) that bends genres, verging into mystery and spy and heist as well as good old fashioned space opera...

The House of Unexpected Sisters  by Alexander McCall Smith.  He can make pedestrian life in Botswana highly interesting...

The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith.  Ditto

Hombre by Elmore Leonard.  I heard that Elmore Leonard never liked any of the movies made of his books until Justified...  I liked Hombre a lot, and now would like to see the version made with Paul Newman, not that he'd fit the role particularly well...



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