Home » Crested cranes and howling hounds

Crested cranes and howling hounds


Christmas draws ever closer and now the panic is beginning to set in. It’s ALWAYS about Christmas presents isn’t it…..I must say, most of the shops are filled with over- priced, over- packaged tat! Having said that, I came across a fantastic buy yesterday…a five foot, wrought iron, welded crested crane….all the way from South Africa. And the price was extremely reasonable. So I bought two for my brother-in-law, and two for myself. It was hysterical getting them home though….I had to sit in the back of the car with all four of them and almost lost an eye when hubs braked suddenly, as it was I got them home with just two gashes on my arm. Here’s mine in the circle in the back garden.


 How smashin’ are they ….wrapping brother-in-law’s was another challenge though……


Here they are in the top right of this pic leaning on the piano. Talking of buying things, hubs bought this GIGANTIC desk which now dominates the study, it’s a lovely desk and great for him when he’s working from home but it’s far too big for the room. Maybe my poor piano will have to go….I really will have to tackle his endless mounds of papers breeding in here in an attempt to have it looking tidy for Christmas.

DSCF9634At least the dining room is sorted, and the pressies wrapped….AND the cards posted.

Now this is the time of year when we all over indulge but I have no intention of worrying if I gain a few pounds, here’s why…..


Y’see the pond in the bottom right? FULL of leaves it is….that has to be cleared out, and sooner rather than later to keep it hunky dory for the frogs.


And I’ve only just started clearing this border in the front. I have to dig it out ALL the way around the garden and prune ten foot hedges as I go, front and back!


And then there’s all the long, long walks the dogs have to go on…..


Not forgetting the border of giant concrete stones that needs digging….and those monsters moving!


Then there’s all the leaves that need raking up.


Also, this ivy growing over and INSIDE the garage has to be battled …. as well as five more rooms that need decorating. So I say….pass me the roasties and the Christmas pud….and an extremely large mulled wine for soon the nights become lighter and the clear up begins. 


And finally…..Sam has a new trick, every time he hears the music of the Christmas lights he points his long muzzle mournfully at the moon and lets a howl loose that would waken, and strike fear into the dead!

45 Responses to “Crested cranes and howling hounds”

  1. elaine says:

    sounds like you have everything under control – personally, I’ll be glad when it is all over but then I’m a miserable old sod. I can’t get over how huge your garden is – it looks more like the size of a park! I didn’t know you could get musical lights – do you mean tree lights? It will be great when the shortest day is over with won’t it – bring back the light nights is what I say.

  2. Snow Bird says:

    Yes, the lights are tree lights and play a load of tinny carols. Oh I’m certainly with you on the dark nights, soul destroying they are. You can’t get much done either and it’s horrid walking dogs in the cold and dark. I’m afraid I’m not organised at all, it’s always a wing and a prayer with me…..I fumble my way through it all! Thanks Elaine.xxx

  3. Decorating and garden projects post Christmas for us too.

  4. rusty duck says:

    You almost have me convinced, enough for another mince pie anyway! I love those cranes!!

  5. nikkipolani says:

    Wow. I’m nearly speechless thinking about all of your garden chores. Makes my Pruning Week seem positively sedate! You need every ounce of energy you can get!!

    As for those cranes, they are so graceful looking and perfect for your circle. Their spindly legs do worry me a bit as I consider the speed at which Annie and Sam tear around. But perhaps you’ve banished from this garden area while the turf settles in.

    I’m so impressed with your Christmas prep. I have petered out. Roomie and I made an executive decision to abandon efforts to get cards written and sent for Christmas. At this rate, we’re aiming for Valentine’s Day. I can’t tell you how relieving it was to have that weight lifted. Some years, it’s just the right thing to do. So I’m especially pleased that I got off your anti-humbug bracelet. I meant to follow with a proper card, but …now you know!

    Delighted to have made your acquaintance this year, Snowbird. You are such a dear.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Y’know Anne, I love your pruning week and plan to have one this year….it all sounds rather delicious but I bet it’s hard going. I love pruning but it’s sorting the waste afterwards!

      I have wondered what the pups could do to the cranes, so far I’m letting them out in the back separately and so far they are running around the circle rather than through it….so fingers crossed!

      I’m delighted to hear you have abandoned cards, it’s crazy to have SUCH pressure on top of everything else, I had to leave them one year too and as you say it’s a real weight of the old shoulders. My adorable bracelet is QUITE enough, it is getting worn a lot! And I enjoy telling people it’s my anti-humbug!!!!

      It’s wonderful to have you as a friend Anne, I do enjoy hearing what you, Roomie and the cats are up to. xxxx

  6. Jason says:

    I love the cranes! I love metal sculptures for the garden in general. But it’s a good thing you didn’t have to take those through an airport. As to garden chores, i don’t have to think about them much for another couple of months, everything is frozen. At least you can be grateful you won’t have a massive rush of trying to do everything in March.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….the very thought of trying to get the cranes through an airport gives me chills! I love metal sculpture too, they had an elephant calf, lifesized for £900, it was beautiful….oh to be rich eh…..

      Y’know….come spring my whole garden becomes a mass of weeds….no peace eh….thanks Jason.xxx

  7. Glo says:

    I love your cranes ~ especially in that location ~ perfect fit. Funny about the dog ;) There is a very large husky dog across the street that howls each time he hears a siren. It’s the weirdest sound. Otherwise, never know he’s there. One day I’ll try and get a photo of him ~ beautiful dog. Have a very Merry Christmas, and put your feet up whenever you can!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….I can just hear that husky now, very wolflike they are. I wonder what it is that triggers them…..maybe it’s high pitched noises. Annie doesn’t howl but she does talk……Yes it would be lovely to see a pic of him. Thanks Glo.xxx

  8. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post and terrific photos.
    Those cranes look, and sound, rather impressive.
    You’ve clearly got plenty to do in the garden to keep you well occupied next year and beyond! xx

  9. Jenny says:

    I like your plan – eat lots ready for a spring of working hard! We have a similar looking list of garden jobs to be done.

  10. Jo says:

    It sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you after Christmas with that long list of chores. Your cranes are beautiful, your brother in law will be so pleased with his. I think men are so hard to buy for so this is a fab pressie. I love that Sam is joining in with the carols. Archie’s got a new trick too, I ask him where Christmas is and he looks up at his doggy advent calendar and barks, I don’t know what he’s going to do after the 24th, he’ll miss his treats.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Oh I totally agree Jo, men are SO difficult to buy for…..sighs….
      Hahahahaha…..how cute is that about Archie….you’ll have to keep biscuits there all year round now, and ask…where’s the biscuits? Thanks Jo.xxx

  11. Linda says:

    Your posts are always so interesting and there’s always something to smile about. I hope your brother-in-law doesn’t read your blog otherwise no surprise for him with his present! You have the same dining room table and chairs as our local daughter (but with red material). I always look twice when I see yours! You are definitely ready there for Christmas! I’m sure you will have plenty of scope to get some exercise after the Christmas festivities. Love the last photo of your daughter and Sam. All the best to all of you – have a very peaceful holiday!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words Linda, no, my friends and family don’t know I have a blog, only hubs and daughter, so I shant be spoiling his surprise…..how funny your daughter has the same dining table as me…
      Now the days will steadily get longer and we can all get out and about a little more. xxx

  12. Scarlett says:

    Your daughter has such weird feet! Cringe for her. I have a video of Sam howling, you should put it up so everyone can hear how blood-curdling it is! Only 5 more days to get my roasties, prepped… xxx

  13. Marian says:

    Those cranes are wonderful …. I’d have loved to have seen you in the car with them!!!! Your post has tired me out so fetch us a mulled wine and mince pie there’s a dear!!!!!

    Looking forward to seeing you again ~x~

    • Snow Bird says:

      Hahahahaha…one large mulled on it’s way….even better we’ll have one when we next meet up which hopefully will be soon. Oh the cranes….far to big and SHARP for the car, I literally wrestled one a half an inch away from my eye all the way home. Thanks Marion.xxx

  14. Kathryn says:

    I love your photos,Dina,,,,and getting panicy is all part of the fun… it means e are alive.>)

  15. Just that…. and then… nothing else count!
    Serene festività, dal cuore

    PS. I’ll be back in January, now I need to be with my very old mom for a while… I’m taking her far away…

  16. godschool says:

    The cranes are gorgeous! And you’re right – with all that gardening and dog-walking you won’t have a chance to put on any pounds! Mulled wine ahoy ;) and a very happy Christmas to you and yours xx

  17. Wendy says:

    I love the cranes, what a fabulous present. They look terrific in your garden, too.
    Those projects will certainly keep you busy until spring!
    I love the photo of Sam being given a huge hug. I wonder why the lights make him howl like that. Harry has some funny ways, too – he howls at some quizz show buzzers. Who knows why!
    I’m still behind with all my preparations – so off to catch up now.
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Wendy, I hope you’ve caught up, not long to go now! It’s so odd what dogs howl about, I’m beginning to think it’s high pitched noises. Gardens are certainly a labour of love aren’t they, there’s always a long list of things that need doing as well as regular maintenance….
      I often come across daughter giving Sam hugs….he loves them.xxx

  18. Kitty says:

    The cranes are perfect! What a neat gift and perfect treasure. I LOVE when that happens! Your home looks festive and ready for celebrating. Lovely to see all that green outside: we’re expecting 5-10″ of snow tomorrow night and school was cancelled today because of ice, so we’re fairly home-bound and I will not be gardening away the calories I consume…but I do a lot of upstairs-downstairs running around, and will make it out for an exercise class tomorrow morning. Tis the season; I can always dance around the house to carols. :)

    I love Sam’s efforts to join in the caroling, too: I will imagine out duet. Love your posts, your home/garden and your beautiful spirit: Joy to you, Dina, and very blessed new year! :)

    • Snow Bird says:

      I was thrilled to find the cranes Kitty, they had so much more welded iron work in a huge barn, they even had a life sized baby elephant which was £900….I would have loved to have bought the lot.
      Oh my goodness….5-10 inches of snow….I do hope you have all you need for Christmas and won’t have to go out. Some gorgeous pics coming my way then.
      Hahahahahaha….I can just imagine you dancing around the house and singing….I shall join you in spirit! Thanks SO much Kiity.xxx

  19. Some really great pics. Christmas is coming – a hectic time. Not quite so much as when our children were younger. Our grandchildren are growing and some living in other cities, including our footballer in Melbounre. Will be much quieter this year. You have some work to do before it gets too wintery. Been warm here, but really windy at present – we may be in for some rain? That Christmas tree looks great too. So I hope you and yours have a marvellous Christmas – will be here earlier than you.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Thanks Peter…..it’s your spring now isn’t it. We’re having some shocking winds too and winds of 100 mph are predicted for Christmas eve and Christmas day. xxx

  20. Oh Dina…I LOVE THE CRANES…..maybe you should buy them wholesale and start selling yourself – wonderful…..and love the picture of you with beautiful Sam:)
    Yes, eat everything in sight, because within a week, it will all have fallen off you:)
    Sending you love and good wishes for a fabulous Christmas, and all good things for 2014…..the year, I do hope we meet. xxxxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      I would love to sell the cranes but there are only a few of them…..they are lovely aren’t they. Now that pic is my daughter with Sam…if only I looked that young….lol
      I shall tuck in immediately Janet…..lol.
      I think we will meet this year….I feel it in my bones. Maybe a mini blogmeet in my garden when it grows a little! Thanks Janet.xxx

  21. Your money could not have been more well spent. The Cranes are amazing and I am sure your brother-in-law will appreciate his gift all the more when he finds out you nearly lost an eye in your quest to provide such an awesome present!! Love all the pic’s. Have a happy and relaxing Christmas. xx

  22. Snow Bird says:

    Thanks Sam, I’m sure my brother-in-law will enjoy them as he has a lovely garden overlooking the canal. I’m delighted to still have the eye, last year I scratched it….what it is about Christmas and my eye? xxx

  23. ShimonZ says:

    I appreciate your enthusiasm for sculpture, but since Christmas adds a little pressure to life, with the expectation of presents and such… if I were you… I think I would choose some of the more handsome lost souls at the animal refuge and send them as Christmas gifts to my friends and relatives… just a thought… With best wishes to you and your loved ones for a very happy holiday, and a little peace on earth too.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol…..unfortunately I’ve exhausted such prospects a long time ago, everyone who could take an animal has one….so maybe I need to make some new friends eh???
      Thanks Shimon……hope you get a little warmth soon.xxx

  24. gardengirl says:


    Have a fab Christmas!


  25. I think I’m in love with Sam… especially now I know he howls at the moon! That is just The Best….. I’d join in with him for sure! :) And a lovely pic of Daughter and Sam…. :)

    The cranes look wonderful and what fun to wrap them and what fun to receive! Hope your Christmas was beautiful and all the best for the New Year!xxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Hahahahaha….I have no doubt that you and Sam would get along famously, and I have to confess to joining in with the howling, so very liberating and primal it is too!!!!

      I LOVE my cranes, and my brother-in-law loved his too Thanks so much Arose, wishing you all the very best for the New Year.xxx

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