Solstice '09

Treebeard and I usually celebrate the Winter Solstice with an oyster roast. This year we decided to build our fire and eat our oysters in the afternoon rather than wait for nightfall so we could incorporate our solstice bird count into the celebration.

A half-bushel of NC oysters waiting for the coals.

The fire is hot and the coals are forming as the bricks heat up.

Treebeard put the heated fire brick between the ground and the bottom of the grill to help keep the coals uniformly hot. He shoveled in the coals, put some oysters on the grill and then covered them with a wet sack.

A few minutes later, we were shucking and eating. This one had a prize inside! It's a little crab that was sharing the oyster's shell.
Yes, we ate the whole half-bushel. That's only a peck apiece ;)

For dessert (a couple of hours later) we roasted marshmallows over the fire.
I also roasted the souls of my shoes, but we won't go into that ;)
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For those who are interested, here's our bird list for the yard today. We noted what we heard or saw from about 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We got 29 species:

Turkey vulture
Black vulture
Pileated woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-headed woodpecker
Northern flicker
White-breasted nuthatch
Pine warbler
Chipping sparrow
Song sparrow
Swamp sparrow
Field sparrow
American crow
American robin
Northern cardinal
Eastern phoebe
Great blue heron
American goldfinch
Red-shouldered hawk
Carolina chickadee
Carolina wren
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Yellow-rumped warbler
Wood duck
Tufted titmouse
Hermit thrush
Bald eagle
White-throated sparrow
Dark-eyed junco

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