Christmas vacation

Christmas holiday was in Santa Barbara with family. Meals were delicious - crown roast of pork and boeuf bourgogne for dinner on Christmas Eve and Day, respectively. A new recipe for persimmon pudding was enjoyed, though it was quite a bit lighter than the traditional one. I got some reading in, both for work and for pleasure, some computer upgrades (I Linux'ed an older laptop to use as a wireless terminal), a hike with my son. My brothers and sister were there and my son enjoyed time with them as well.

We saw some old and new family friends, and my son and I took pot shots with a pellet gun at tin cans one afternoon.

The winter freeze in early 2007 (end of the 2006-2007 winter) resulted in bumper crops of acorns across the state (see Masting) and I think that my brothers and I have planted well over 200 acorns from local trees on the Upper 40. We tried last year but with no success - those acorns were far fewer and were prepared according to directions at the California Oaks website, but many became moldy after only a couple months storage. This year we plucked them right from the trees, scraped a divot out in the ground, and covered them up. If all goes well, then we'll choose the ones we like in a year or two.

The woodpeckers had filled an acorn granary in the tall palm trees in the front yard so full that in winds up to 80 mph one night, the trees dropped the acorns like salt from a salt shaker - hundreds all over the ground. There were still plenty left on trees to refill the granary the next day.

The same high winds hit here in LA, but I don't think that they carried the same soot as the winds in Santa Barbara. I came out after two days of winds to find the soot in drifts up to 1/16th in. thick on my car. The soot was from the Zaca fire. Despite significant rain I guess it was still dry enough to kick up in a high wind.

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