This Happy Valley-Goose Bay couple is keeping a holiday tradition alive with partridge throats

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

You've heard of a partridge in a pear tree — but what about partridge throats in a pine tree?

One couple in Happy Valley-Goose Bay choose to keep their decorations a little more natural than the store-bought ornaments most hang from their Christmas trees this time of year.

"I always put the partridge crops on the tree. A lot of times it's replenished because they fall apart. I try to preserve them and hold them in a box," Lori Dyson Edmunds told CBC News.

"I give a lot away. People will come in and say 'can I have one' and I say 'yeah go ahead.' Then my husband goes hunting and we get some more."

A partridge crop is part of the animal's throat. Sometimes they're empty, sometimes they still retain food.

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

An Inuit tradition, they can be inflated like balloons, barring no holes were torn through them during the hunt, and hung as ornaments with a special feature.

Changing humidity can cause the crop to increase or to shrink.

"If they're full of pine needles or willow beads for the white ones and spruce ones, it usual indicates bad weather coming," said Randy Edmunds.

"If you blow them up correctly and you hang them up, they'll deflate when the weather is going to change and they'll tighten up for nice weather. I'm not exactly sure how it works but it's kind of a barometer for changing weather."

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

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

"Usually it's over the sink because it's a weather barometer of sorts," she said. "In talking to some of the elders, it was something they put on their trees years ago."

The crops also used to be painted with berry juice because other ornaments were rare, Edmunds added.

The couple also places goose wings on their tree each year.

"Everybody loves the tree. Every year there's always things added," Dyson Edmunds said.

"Hopefully some of our decorations will go on to other people's trees."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador