(Hapi napping in the snow)
There was an orchid show at the University on Saturday, I went with a few friends to see the orchids. A lovely blaze of tropical colour on a stormy winter day. We then walked to the university art gallery to see a show of works by local artists. I was really impressed by the quality of many of the paintings and works of sculpture and photography. Many paintings had price tags on them, mostly in the hundreds of dollars. Several were priced in the thousands of dollars. Three small paintings by one artist were priced in the $2500 - $8500 range. It was not anyone we had heard of but one of us later looked the artist up on the internet and it turns out he is a well-known American artist who has retired to our area.
I took Hapi to the vet to get her limp checked out, turns out she has pulled a muscle in her shoulder and I am supposed to limit her walks till she heals up. Not easy. If I have to though, apparently it is safe to give her aspirin or acetaminophen.
The second major storm of the winter was on Saturday (the first was in October, so technically this is the first of the winter). A messy mix of rain, freezing rain and snow, with lots of ice and snow by Sunday morning. North sides of everything coated in ice, some 20 cm (8") of fluffy white stuff on the ground. After a leisurely morning coffee I spent a good hour shovelling the driveway. I had the good sense, if I do say so myself, to park the truck close to the bottom of the driveway so I only needed a narrow path from the back door to the truck and a wider path from the truck to the road.
Taking the protective tarp off the truck was another task, a bit tricky since I put it on when it was still raining so there was ice both under and on top of the tarp. After carefully breaking the ice under the tarp I was able to slide it off. The main purpose of the tarp is to keep water from seeping into the windows facing the space between the cab and the cap, but in wintertime it also prevents ice from building up on the windshield.
The past two weekends have been the Ice Wine Festival locally, with sampling of ice wines at many of the local vineyards. Some friends and I wanted to go to the l'Acadie Vineyard on Sunday for the festival. I phoned to find out how bad the roads were in the Gaspereau, they weren't too bad. I drove to Lin and Pete's with Hapi and met up with them and and another couple, Barb and Scott, to walk to l'Acadie, a couple of kilometers down their road. We walked down the road and along the way picked up Peggy, Lorna and Manou. Meeting Peggy and Lorna was pre-arranged, but Manou was out shovelling her driveway and we easily convinced her that wine-tasting was better than shovelling.
The eight of us arrived at the vineyard and we were an instant party. I think the Vintner, Bruce, was very happy to see us, he must have been wondering how many people would brave the roads after the storm to visit his vineyard. He and his wife had prepared a wonderful fondue of gruyere, emmental and kirsch for the tasters, and had lined up four sparkling wines and a dessert wine served in tiny dark chocolate cups for us to taste. He said that when he worked on vineyards in the Okanagan in BC, he had had his fill of the hard work involved in producing ice wines, so he wasn't going there on his Gaspereau vineyard.
We had a good time, the wine and fondue and conversation was great. Hapi loved the walk and was fine with sitting in the snow outside the winery while we tasted. Bruce wanted photos of us lined up inside and outside because he thought we exemplified what this festival meant to him: a bunch of people out in the snow having a good time.
We left l'Acadie and decided to continue walking to Gaspereau Fibres, where we had heard that they would be serving wine from l'Acadie accompanied by lamb hors-d'oeuvres. As we approached the shop, Hapi saw a big flock of crows and seagulls congregated in a field across the road, no doubt feasting on chicken shed litter. She took off across the rather busy road to chase the birds and find out what they were all so excited about in that field. I had to follow after her with the leash to drag her back.
At the shop there were only two lamb tarts left, we were late. So we divided those tarts in quarters and each had a bite (they were yummy!) and a tiny cup of Marechal Foch red wine. Lorna had heard that I was going to teach Lin how to knit and asked if she picked out some yarn would I let her sit in on the lesson. So we asked the shop attendant about an appropriate project and she suggested a hat made from Fleece Artist sock yarn. Lorna picked out a colour and purchased a circular needle as well.
We all walked back to our various starting points and Barb and Scott and myself stopped at Lin and Pete's for tea and coffee. Hapi played with Lin's dog Sid. Just before sunset Hapi and I drove home. It was a fun weekend and the walk to the vineyard was the highlight.