Saturday, December 25, 2021

Fog on Christmas Day at Ravenseyrie on Manitoulin Island

Foggy Dawn at Ravenseyrie on Christmas Day

 Dawn came to Ravenseyrie on this Christmas Day with a wonderfully atmospheric fog, providing a rather magical element to our distribution of Christmas breakfast to the “wild” bachelors.  I was born in later December and have lived all my life in regions where a White Christmas is the norm.  But on rare occasions, conditions have been mild and snow has been lacking on Christmas Day and so it is for us this year.

A Ravenseyrie snow scene from December 6, 2021

Just yesterday (Christmas Eve) we had perhaps 12.5cm of snow covering the landscape, more in drifted spots - which isn’t all that much for Manitoulin Island this time of year, but certainly enough that our Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve had a winter wonderland appearance.  

December 6, 2021 at Ravenseyrie

That changed, however, with the above freezing temperatures and rain that came over the course of last evening.

By late morning, the fog had dissipated and later in the afternoon there were periods of sunshine.  

Fidalgo on a nearly snow-free range/Christmas Day

With the temperature a little better than 2ºC and very little snow left, Kevin and I decided to go on a foray for Juniper berries.  Foraging for ripe Juniper berries is a somewhat tedious enterprise, but on a day like today when whiling away the time is an acceptable activity there can be quite an enjoyable experience to be had.  For me, getting absorbed into the wild landscape - the sound of the wind, the colours and scents, shapes and textures are a mind-altering drug, with the feeling of deeper connection and obliviousness to time passing.  This is very much like when I am beach-combing for special stones to use in my Paleolithic-style rock paintings.  It is a sensation that I feel is quite medicinal - especially during such troublesome times the human world continues to experience.  I am so glad that Kevin was able to join me!

The main sector of the preserve where there are good Juniper berries to be found

Kevin stops to admire the wonderful trunk of the Zen Elm 

A few of the Juniper berries I will use dried as a spice in cooking.  Most, however, we are macerating and soaking in vodka to make a simple gin for mixing in herbal liqueurs.  Such drinks are another type of medicinal we partake of…one that can be especially helpful to us when the harsher elements of winter return…which is quite likely soon!

Sorraia stallion, Altamiro, from a winter several years ago

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!