We're still knee deep in snow here, although the road conditions have improved enough to allow us to leave the village at least.
A thaw is forecast for the weekend, but even then temperatures will still be about 7 degrees below the average for this time of year.
It's been bad weather for the gophers in more than one sense. Most of their food is a foot beneath them and they are also very easy for predators to spot against a white background. A friend of ours found one being disemboweled by a large bird of prey in their front garden.
This week however, we've been preoccupied by animals of a different kind.
Yesterday we managed to escape the village for a belated trip to Strathmore to view the Golden Mountain puppy we are interested in.
Before we left we happened to have an opportunity to test the water and introduce Blackie the cat to a lively 2 year-old Collie. Despite bristled tail and wide eyes to begin within, after 10 minutes she was asleep on the sofa a couple of feet from the dog, which bodes well!
So up in Strathmore to meet the puppies who I'm pleased to say were fantastic. We are taking the as-yet-unnamed female (see above) and we'll collect her a week on Thursday, the same day that Jim's father arrives for a 2 week visit. We're hoping the cat will blame him for the appearance of the puppy!