Thanksgiving Day

On Thanksgiving we had goose.  Yes, I finally did it.  We were thankful for food on the table.

Our plan was to put it in the smoker and 6 to 7 hours later have a wonderful savory feast.  Our plans were interrupted when Bob found a starving and dehydrated opossum trapped in the smoker.   We haven’t a clue how long he had been in there.


Apparently, having gotten in through the little adjustable air vent on the firebox, he then got into the smoking chamber.  In doing so, he dislodged the small grate and trapped himself.  (We walked away and gave him a chance to get out.  When we came back he was gone.) 


Weak and filthy with soot, we are certain he was thankful too. 

Having no time to pressure wash the smoker and disinfect it I had to go to plan B.  Roasting the goose in the oven.  I hate doing that because of all the greasy mess and smoke, but I tried it a different way!  Dragging down the big, blue, enamel, roasting pan that once belonged to Bob’s mother, I put the goose in, put the lid on, and Voila!  No greasy smoking mess!  I am thankful.  😉

Bob came in later in the afternoon and smelled the goose in the oven…

Oh man, this smells so good!  I’m glad we had to prepare the goose in the oven because it smells like the holidays when I was a kid!

He was thankful for the memories of holiday gatherings and his family.

Fast forward to yesterday…

Which found us at the Mountain Farmlet and working feverishly.  Bob was inside doing demo, and I was outside moving and storing the (possibly) useable planks of lumber from the demo.  In between I finished cleaning out the sheds, and then went walkabout in the woods.

I took myself directly to the bridge to look at the creek.  The creek and the bridge define the southernmost tip of our property.  While I was there, the neighbor lady came over and introduced herself.  We talked for almost an hour and got to know quite a bit about each other.  She seems so nice, and I look forward to being up there full time and having her as a friend.

We have a ‘date’, she and I, to go down into the creek bed and explore, “when it isn’t too hot and there won’t be snakes.”    She’s never been down to the creek!  We have to do this, and when we go I will make sure she won’t have to go bush-whacking like I did to get there.  There was lots of *saw vine. YIKES!  No wonder she’s never been down to see it!  😀

I went down and followed the creek for quite a ways in both directions.  It was lovely.  Here is what I found…

Later, I went into the woods and forging off of our trail this is what I found.  If you are not Lori of Day by Day the Farmgirl Way you may not appreciate the significance of these last photos.  😉

Evidence of life

I was told by the Octogenarian that the deer no longer come here.  Well, they do!  You just need to know the signs.  Thank you for teaching me, Lori.

So thankful!

*NOTE:   The locals call this plant Saw Vine, but it goes by Cat Briar, greenbrier vine, or its botanical name of Smilax bona-nox.  To see where it grows look HERE.

Saw vine information can be linked to by clicking on its name above, but an awesome image of the plant can be found on Steven Schwartzman’s Portraits of Wildflowers  by clicking HERE

50 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Steve Schwartzman says:

    How fortunate you are to have a creek at the edge of your property. Happy exploring.

    I’ve been sawed by a saw-vine more times than I care to recount, but at least the species has given me some good pictures—for a price.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Steve, we are blessed. I am glad to have you as a blogging friend, or else I may have never known the names of so many of the lovely wild things that grow here, Yes, as you have shown me in the past, even the Saw-vine has it’s moments of beauty. 🙂

  2. katechiconi says:

    Your goose smells delicious in my memory… I think I’d have preferred it roasted to smoked anyway… Lovely photos, too. I like the sound of your Mountain Farmlet and its wildlife…

  3. Lillian says:

    For over 60 years, I’ve cooked my turkey in a big enamelware roaster with a lid, just as my mother did it. It’s a great way to cook turkey and, I’m sure, goose.

    • Lynda says:

      Lillian, we have always been big on smoking and grilling here. However, now that I have discovered the turkey roaster, and how to use it, I won’t be shy to use it again in the future!

  4. LB says:

    Smell is one of our strongest senses! I loved reading Bob’s comment about the smell reminding him of childhood. Thank goodness for the opposum that you had planned to smoke that goose!
    I very much enjoyed your photos and I’m so glad you had a holiday (and a year) to be thankful for. Great minds, Lynda, Great minds 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Yes, Laurie, our sense of smell can more vividly bring on a memory than any of our other senses combined.

      Thank you, it has been a year! So much discovery, so much testing or our wills, spirit, drive and determination. The things we are accomplishing make ownership of the land up there worth it. We are on the cusp of the downhill side of all this work… I hope the rebuilding goes faster than the demo! 😉

    • Lynda says:

      Annie, we were horrified to make this discovery. We think it was at least a week or more for him to get to that emaciated state. And opossums do not hibernate! We have had some wicked overnight temps in the low 20s over the past several weeks. He no doubt just wanted to be warm. 😦

      Thank you, those steps are one of my favorite finds so far!

  5. Littlesundog says:

    Oh my goodness Lynda!!! I will tell you another tidbit! Deer ADORE cat brier aka your “saw vine”! The deer keep it nibbled down fairly well in this area. It is a thorny vine but as it grows into the trees, it flourishes and produces beautiful drapes of leaves. I have learned to appreciate it and let it go wild here.

    The creek is absolutely stunning, and another draw for wildlife of all sorts. I am just delighted that you already have so much in place to attract deer and other wildlife! Your photos are excellent!

    And I’m so proud of you for becoming a tracker! Your observance of what wildlife leaves behind, will tell you a lot about life in your backyard. I’m thrilled for you and Bob… what a lovely place you have!

    • Lynda says:

      Well, I will only be removing and cutting it back along the path, and any new clearings we make. There are a couple of spots that I wanted thinned and cleaned up along the creek. However NOT cleared. I know that the roots help to hold the soil in place. Just enough to be able to see through it (limbing up the trees here and there, and to allow access for us and the dogs.

      As for becoming a tracker, well if it weren’t for all your posts and pictures, then I may well have stomped through blindly and never known they were there! 😉 I have to tell you, if you hadn’t pointed them out to me when you were here, well, I probably would have passed them right by. They are almost as hard to detect in real life as they are to see in the pictures I took. You are a good wildlife teacher, Lori. 😀

    • Lynda says:

      Ohmygoodness, EW! Only you could have come up with that one before it was even seen in real life, ES. 😉

      LOL! Thank you for sharing. I went looking for the post that featured this cartoon, but couldn’t find it. Is it for a future addition on Squirrel’s Nest?

  6. shoreacres says:

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving you had, although I must say I suspect that possum was as thankful as you – or moreso.

    I’ve never had goose, but we used those big turkey roasters all the time when I was growing up. And there were three or four of them around. It wasn’t that we were roasting that many turkeys – they just collected, and then mom figured out that they were perfect for keeping Christmas butter cookies out in the garage. It was as cold as the refrigerator, or colder, and at that time of year the only thing that bothered them were creatures about three feet tall with two legs.

    I was out on Friday and found fresh deer tracks through the woods, along with raccoon down by the waterside. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of scat I found on my trip through Kansas and etc. It was a seedeater, but not raccoon or possum. Strange. I need to find my photo and check it out. For the sake of your other readers I’ll spare you all the details here, but it was very unusual – and not from a small animal. As a matter of fact, that was the only time in my whole trip I looked around a little nervously and thought, “There’s no one else out here, and I’m without a weapon. I believe I might head back to the car.”

    Is is amazing how evocative odors can be. It’s been cool enough around here for a little woodsmoke to be floating on the air. I know most of it’s from boutique fires made by people who buy their wood six logs at a time from the grocery store, but it smells just as good.

    • Lynda says:

      Yes,it was (and has been) quiet and relaxed here, I am certain that you are correct about how the opossum was feeling about finally being discovered! As for turkey roasters, we had that one, but I have been boycotting turkey since I was a kid. It was nice to find a use for the roaster since we have it taking up all that space in the butler’s pantry. 😉 Actually, here or there, I intend to try turkey raising next year. If I raise it myself, and keep it away from the dogs, then I will eat it.

      Yes, now that no one is living on the property I find many animal surprises on the trail and in the general vicinity of the pond. I am fearful that what I see is evidence of coyote, and I am very certain it is not stray dog. I will definitely be installing six wire in a wide birth around the pond. Not so much to keep the geese in, but to keep everything else out!

      “Boutique fires”, now that is a new one on me, Linda! 😉

    • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

      I’m thinking that your “shoulder checking” was very wise. From those that I’ve seen, bear scat has “loads” of “left-over” evidence (HA! Get it?) of poor mastication; )

  7. pattisj says:

    I’m glad you were able to get your goose cooked. 😉 What a sweet memory that aroma must have been for Bob. I look forward to exploring with you. How nice to have a new neighbor to visit with.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Patti! It took me a long time to screw up the courage to do this deed…
      Patti, you cannot imagine the quiet in the chicken and goose yards now. Little Dorrit looks so calm and no longer has that haunted, battered housewife look in her eyes. I took her over and put her in with Polly and Frellnick and it was just like old times. Running, wing flapping, water dipping, and completely at peace. Now I am angry at myself for waiting so long.

      He sure did make me smile when he said that, and yes, it will be nice to have a new neighbor to visit with! 🙂

  8. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Love your icy water shots, and guessing your trail’s been there for quite a while. (Well-mannered deer are like Santa Claus… Even if you don’t “see” them; it doesn’t mean they’re not there;🎄)
    Glad your Thanksgiving dinner was memorable in SO many ways; )
    Now, its on our way to a Very Merry Christmas! 🎅

    • Lynda says:

      Deb, yes, the trail in the woods did look rather well worn. I wanted to follow it, but was worried that my scent might deter them from coming back again. Christmas, like Thanksgiving will be very low key also. It will be quiet and delicious. 😉

  9. garybuie01 says:

    The opossum certainly has plenty to be thankful for! I’m glad we don’t have Thanksgiving on this side of the Atlantic. The thought of all that festivity followed by yet more a few weeks later makes me go weak at the knees!

    • Lynda says:

      LOL!, there is just the two of us, Christine, so it is very low key for both events here. However, we do make the special foods that go with the holidays, only a few of our favorites, and just enough for us. 😉

      Yes! I think the opossum was very grateful. He was a little visitor to our picture window on many nights through the summer. He climbed up on the bench to eat the cat’s food, and then peeked in as if to say, “Thanks for the grub!” 🙂

  10. chatou11 says:

    Hello Lynda, poor little opossum, good thing you found him for sure he has been thankful to you.. I can smell the goose from here… it must have been delicious.
    Your photos are beautiful, thanks for sharing.

    • Lynda says:

      Chantal, thank you! The little opossum is doing well! We heard him in the dark stealing the cat’s food on the front porch this weekend. 😀 Yes, dinner was delicious, although quite a bit of work to prepare.

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