Snow? Yes! Not much, but enough to cover everything and make the world beautiful. Here’s a little promo video Mount Snow produced last week, showing what it was like on the slopes on Martin Luther King Birthday weekend. (Notice how empty the trails  are! ) And, yes, that’s me doing all the fancy downhill moves. 
I lied. 


 
 
Three reasons to celebrate this week and next:
CHILDREN, who promise tomorrow.
MUSIC, which amplifies life, along the way. 
IF NOT PEACE, at the least the possibility of reduced warfare in several regions

In keeping with the season, here are a few chestnuts roasting on an open fire for you, dear reader, in hopes they will put a (at least a small) smile on your face:
http://www.birdsonawireblog.com/1/category/christmas/1.html

This has been a tough year for everyone and we know 2012 will be difficult, as well. 
But, we’re still here, aren’t we? As long as we’re here, there's hope for a better day.  

As 2011 comes to a close, I can tell you we see a clear sign of hope up here in the woods. Our last important washed-out road reopened this week, thanks to crews that have worked 24/7 since the August 28 disaster. In spite of the Halloween blizzard, in spite of angry outbursts from some in DC who balked at funding a portion of our recovery from a 100-year flood, work crews got the job done. There may be homes, businesses and jobs lost forever, but at least MA Route 2 is open from Boston to North Adams, for the first time in almost four months. The same holds true for VT Route 9 and VT Route 4. In fact, all but a few Vermont roads are now passable or will reopen by New Years. Thank you, state road crews in Massachusetts and Vermont! You have given us very valuable presents, indeed!  

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, with an emphasis on the happy part.

 
 
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Can any place be greener than Vermont in early summer? Maybe Ireland. Maybe not.

Here's a peek at what we see from the deck and windows.
Today, after a hot spell, we got up to a steamy 73 degrees at 3 p.m. A crisp Canadian high moved in and pushed all the muggy air out. The weekend should be stellar, perfect for the Fourth of July.

I stopped off at a farm stand yesterday afternoon. They had lettuce, beets, radishes, strawberries, blueberries and CORN! Everyone is talking about it. No one remembers ever seeing corn in time for the Fourth of July in New England. But this was not a typical year. We had an early thaw followed by persistent rain, with just enough sun to get things started. Now, we’re reaping the benefits. Who says there’s no global warming?

Below are a few seasonal sites in and around southern Vermont/western Massachusetts. Photos were taken yesterday evening and this afternoon. If you look carefully, you'll see a pileated woodpecker making salad-bowl sized holes in a tree.

The bears are out and about, but we haven't seen any yet. Lots of other people have. One friend stepped out on her front porch to shoo away a bear from her bird feeder. He responded with a deep growl, and she high-tailed it back indoors.

 
 
I may have found paradise, and it is in a kayak on a Vermont pond in late summer.

 
 
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Wish you were here!
The weather's good -- daytime highs 70-75, nightime lows 45-50. Put us on your calendar for next year. Kick back and enjoy the scenery. No fancy clothes necessary. In fact, leave them home.