Snow Day

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Snow! And ice! And freezing temperatures! Everywhere! Do you have them too? I've been quite elated (except for that part where the weather cancelled our plans to go out of town of a day or two — wah) by the cold and am enjoying every minute of it. I love it. We've only really had one day of snow and many days of cold, but they say there might be more snow on the way today.

What do you think of my hawk picture??? Weirdest thing: Meems and I were setting out for a long walk on Sunday afternoon. About a block away from the house I saw the light shining through those seed pod things and wanted to take a picture of them. I debated going back for my camera; I almost didn't. We went back, got it, took a snap of the pods, and we continued on our way. It was strangely quiet. Amelia was asleep in the stroller. It was sunny and very cold, and for some reason (I guess no one wanted to go out in it) I could hardly hear any traffic (usually it's quite loud) and we hadn't seen a single car. I thought about what our neighborhood was like when it was just woods. I used to think this about my neighborhood at home, too; when you look at those giant oak trees, you feel like you can see settlers. The sun shone low in the sky behind bare branches. We walked another few blocks when suddenly there was the most awful and startling noise: bird violence, and in the air. I'd never heard the sound before, but I knew what it was somehow. I thought I'd seen a swoop and a flash some ways up the road but I couldn't be sure. We turned the corner and there, in the middle of the street — a Cooper's hawk, straddling a bluejay, the pair of them all giant wings and eyes. I stopped in my tracks, and an oncoming car rolled quietly toward us all, and stopped a few feet from the birds. We were all frozen, when suddenly the jay sprang back to life and made a break for it. He darted, low and sharp, toward the houses, stunned to be flying. The hawk casually hopped into a tree and looked around: Oh well. He cleaned something off his chest. I dove for my camera, tucked into that (maddening) net basket under the stroller and started snapping pictures as fast as I could. He was about twenty or thirty feet from me, not more. I snapped and snapped, amazed that he sat. Snap snap snap. I could see a very bundled couple walking their dog coming toward me. Snapsnapsnap. I tried to wave them off, knowing they would flush him, but they didn't understand my waves and points. He sat in the tree until they got right up to it, oblivious to him, and then he flapped off. They noticed the camera and said something polite like, "Oh, how nice, a crow" and I was apoplectic with frustration, excitement, and delight, sputtering, "It was a HAWK!!!" Oh! I showed them the photos on my camera's little LCD screen. Wow! Cool! We each told our only hawk stories from the neighborhood — it's so rare to see one! They watched one divebombing at the park a few years ago; I saw one other in our front yard tree one afternoon, and thought I was hallucinating. It made my day.

City peeps. We need to get out more, don't we!!! :)

*The dancing photos are from ScanFair, and yes, I'm still fiddling with CHAI. I can't stop.
**Her peasant dress and blouse are from Alice à Paris, and her booties are from Misha and Puff.

94 comments

oh. I love the drool.
so sweet baby.
xo
c

Oh my word...the pigtails...that scrunched up nose...the sweet drooling baby! Adorable!

Just found out there's an english version for the Alice à Paris website http://www.aliceaparis.com/en/home
Absolutely loving the pictures and pigtails!

Kathy Wimsatt says: December 12, 2013 at 07:08 AM

LOVE the hawk photo! What a neat encounter for you and the little one to experience! We have more and more sighting of them around here (suburbs of DC) and this past spring you could hear them caling to each other - a thrilling sound. Although I have experienced the dreadful sound of a hawk capturing a smaller bird and it's terrible. I know, I know - it's nature and the way things works but please not in my backyard!!

I, too, sometimes love to walk around and think of what it was like 150 years ago. What were their experiences. I've always said if I could do time travel it would be back and not forward!

So happy you're enjoying this holiday season with Meems. Surely an exciting time for the Poulson clan!

I'm curious what book you are reading. I saw the book sitting by the tub and it looked intriguing. I just love your pictures. They ooze warmth and coziness. Thanks for sharing them with us!

Those pigtails!!! Simply precious.

Hawks are my FAVORITE. I feel a deep connection to them because of a childhood incident. One day after our daily afternoon coffee and toast at my grandmother's house with my mother, her 5 sisters, and all my cousins, we headed home. When we got home, there was a hawk sitting on our back porch. It had somehow injured its wing and couldn't fly. My father threw a big blanket over it and put it in a huge cardboard box. We then drove it to a man who had something of a wild animal "zoo." It was next to a gas station where tourists often stopped. He took the hawk and, I assume, rehabilitated it and released it. But I always thought of it as MY hawk.

Happybigsister says: December 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM

LOVE THOSE PIG TAILS! She is getting so big!
In response to your post a few times ago, here is a super good crock pot recipe. http://www.anoregoncottage.com/sausage-bean-soup-with-spinach-tomatoes/ Great hawk picture. Aren't they so majestic? Even if they do eat poor small animals.

I am just wondering how many of us went online shopping for frothers after reading about yours. I am looking forward to chai and vanilla steamers. With a snowstorm in progress, clouds of vanilla foam sound perfect.

Ha, that scrunched up face is the very very best! What a darling dear she is =) I hope she is enjoying Christmas and decorating and all the fun and joy and light of the season - and the SNOW. I am so envious; Seattle didn't get any at all and today we are back to rain. I know it's very early in the cold season but I am so disappointed!

The hawk photo is lovely; we get a lot of wild birds in our neighbourhood because our neighbours rehabilitate sick and injured raptors. Somehow the wild birds seem to know; whenever an eagle or hawk is in the neighbourhood, it'll settle in the trees in their yard for an hour or two. Their grown daughter is a falconer and has given lessons in their backyard before. Seeing these birds never ceases to give me a thrill: "EAGLE!! GET THE CAMERA!!" "FALCON! GET THE CAMERA!!!" "CROWS! GET THE CAMERA!!!" ;)

HER CUTENESS IS OVERWHEMLING! SO MUCH SO THAT I CAN'T SPELL! Super hawk story, too. It's always interesting to see that sort of thing up close.

A couple years ago, I looked at the window at work and, in the middle of our VERY high traffic street, was a falcon. He had just killed something and did not give one patoot that there were cars 12" away from him. Cars were slowing down and giving him space and eventually a police car came and blocked off his dining room (it was in a turn lane), so no one would accidentally hit him. He was there for over an hour, picking away peacefully, then flew off.

I feel I was not adequately prepared for the cuteness of those piggy tails.

Love the snow, oh for a white christmas, it is 29 degrees boiling hot here in NZ. Luv the little viking.

Hi Posie!
I love the photos of the Northwest sky. My homeland.
Scan Fair! How great!

Hi Alicia,
I love your story about the hawk. Growing up, instead of going to church, my mom and dad would take us for walks at Crabtree Nature Center in Palatine, IL. While we liked the wood chip trails, getting the "mail" (map of trails in a wooden box), and looking out on the lakes from observation houses, my brothers and I were always frustrated by the length of time my parents would take looking through the binoculars at some distant bird - how could that be interesting? Sometimes it would be freezing. Or muddy. My folks would walk too slow.

Well, now that I'm 42, I can appreciate what they taught me - there is so much out there that no one even sees! On the 40 minute highway drive between my house and my parents', I can count the hawks on the light poles, on top of signs, or in the trees. They are always there - you can't miss the big white belly. As suspected, my kids are annoyed with my pointing them out, but I hope one day they will catch on!

For now, my dad and I always call each other if we see an interesting bird (we used to email, but he forgot his password). A flock of cranes migrating overhead, the kingfisher by the pond, or a hawk in the bushes hunting sparrows. He is almost 75 and has emphysema - I know I will miss calling him when he is no longer here.

It's just a nice thing we can share. Nice to hear that you "see" the hawks, too.

Laura in Naperville, IL

PS That Mimi is so adorable. Love the pigtails!

My grandfather was part Cherokee Indian and he told tales of what the sightings of large birds meant. I cannot remember it all, but maybe someone else with a better memory will comment

i LOVE your description of your cooper's hawk sighting!! it is so amazing to see these guys in action!! i was walking the other day when i heard a strange scream... only to realize a cooper's had caught something and was whisking it away to a nearby tree. he got it to the ground instead and i expected to see a bit of a horror flick, but the bird hopped away. i turned my head and saw feathers floating down where the hawk must have grabbed him. so amazing and so cool and right in the middle of our neighborhood. and your girl... gosh, she is getting cuter every day. as if that's even possible!

Melody Heck says: December 14, 2013 at 07:01 PM

What a story! Yes, your hawk picture is wonderful. We see them often in our area, but they are challenging to get a good picture of.

I love that picture of Amelia with the scrunched up face, so cute!!

{Love your blog} Our temps today are so warm -- 78º and downright balmy. Coastal NC. I saw your pic and said, "She's making chai." I keep many of the same spices. I make my own now, a big batch, and keep it in a large carafe in the frig, heating up a cup each morning. It's lovely. I boil a saucepan of water with 2 black tea bags in it, until it's reduced by half and very strong. Boiled in it are a cinn. stick, 2 card. pods emptied, 6 whole allspice, 6 white peppercorns, 2 whole cloves, one star anise. I keep it at a low boil the whole time so they will release their oils. Then I remove from heat and add the same amt. of whole milk to it, take out the tea bags, and put the rest into the carafe. I'm no longer tempted by chai in even the best coffee shops :)

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.