This Happy Valley-Goose Bay couple are carrying on a tradition of vacationing with partridge gorges

Lori Dyson Edmunds and Randy Edmunds stand in front of their Christmas tree with their own locally sourced partridge ornaments. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

You’ve heard of a partridge in a pear tree – but what about partridge throats in a pine tree?

A Happy Valley-Goose Bay couple chose to keep their decorations a little more natural than the store-bought ornaments that most often hang from their Christmas tree this time of year.

« I always put the partridge crops on the tree. A lot of times it gets replenished because they’re falling apart. I try to save them and keep them in a box, » Lori Dyson Edmunds told CBC News.

« I give a lot. People come and say ‘can I have one’ and I say ‘yeah, go for it. Then my husband goes hunting and we get some more. »

A partridge’s crop is part of the animal’s throat. Sometimes they are empty, sometimes they still store food.

A flesh-colored ball hangs from a Christmas tree.
Partridge crops are part of the gorge. They can be inflated and used as a barometer or Christmas decoration. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

An Inuit tradition, they can be inflated like balloons, unless holes have been punched during the hunt, and hung like ornaments with a special feature.

The change in humidity can increase or decrease the harvest.

« If they’re full of pine needles or willow beads for whites and spruces, that usually indicates bad weather is coming, » Randy Edmunds said.

« If you inflate them correctly and hang them up, they’ll deflate when the weather changes and they’ll tighten up for good weather. I’m not sure exactly how that works, but it’s kind of a barometer for changing weather. »

A semi-deflated bag hangs from a green Christmas tree.
This partridge crop is partially deflated. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Dyson Edmunds said the tradition is something that has been with her for most of her life, but even more so when the couple moved to Makkovik.

« Usually it’s over the sink because it’s kind of a weather barometer, » she said. « Speaking to some of the elders, it was something they had put on their trees years ago. »

Crops were also painted with berry juice because other adornments were rare, Edmunds added.

The couple also place goose wings on their tree every year.

« Everyone loves the tree. Every year there are always things added, » said Dyson Edmunds.

« I hope some of our decorations will go on other people’s trees. »

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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