Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Wolf in Coyote's Clothing?

Caretaker’s Log, Saturday, April 12, 2014

I make pancakes for breakfast with the gluten-free mix I’d found in the pantry. Honey and frozen fruit make a nice topping. Sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and my fancy breakfast makes the weekend suddenly feel special, out of the ordinary. Not just another day with the same little chores. Although the same chores get done. Although I don’t mind the same little chores.

When I go check the lights in the generator shed the ground is crisp and hard, easy to walk on. So I go for a longer walk. I pass the place where I’d laid the little dead owl to rest and notice it’s gone from its funerary bark. The bark looks like a dark angel against the snow.


The Industrial Park looks fine. No fuel leaking, this is good.

There’s a snowbank at the thawing river that looks like modern art.

I walk west. I’ve never walked this way before. I have to get my walks in early these days before the warming weather melts the snow and ice and makes my way, if not impassable, simply harder. 

As I walk home I see a wolf running up the north ridge. It seems to sense me, pausing every so often to look my way. I do the same. Two curious and wary creatures. Maybe it’s a coyote.

I near the fence line and hear other wolves, other coyotes. A pack of them, yipping, whooping, and hollering from the west – probably not much farther out than where I’ve just come from. I sit on the post and listen to them. The north one calls back to the others. It’s a community of sound, of acceptance.  

I go inside and read the rest of the day away.

Caretaker’s Log, Sunday, April 13, 2014

As if my reluctant acceptance of spring flipped some weathersome switch—I wake up to find it’s snowing. Just when I’d gotten used to the melting mess. Now this. I grumble as I brush my teeth and throw my hair into a makeshift braid.

I water the plants.

Watching the snowfall in windblown clumps I’m reminded of Snowflake Bentley who looked at snowflakes under the view of a microscope and photographed them.

I shake off my morning grouch and now, that I’m transitioned to the idea, this snow makes me happy.

Two hours later—this snow makes me extremely happy.

I go chop wood for an hour.

I wear myself out with the wood chopping. I bring a full sled load up to the porch and start throwing it on the wood pile.

The cat stays much of her time up in the roof. She comes scraping, scratching, sliding down when she hears me out on the porch, wanting me to rub behind her ears.

This is the longest I’ve ever gone without face to face human contact.

I talk with my brother on the phone. He tells me if I get eaten by wolves or bears to be sure to have my camera handy to record it.

I read another book.

I eat goat cheese brie, crackers, hummus, carrots, and canned peaches for dinner.

The moon is nearly full.

Caretaker’s Log, Monday, April 14, 2014

The thought I have when I wake up is, I wonder if I’m getting enough protein? This exhaustion seems hardly warranted by the amount of work I’d done the day before. I shrug it off. I’m getting enough protein.

I work part of a jigsaw puzzle while listening to an audiobook I’d downloaded from the library.

I go check on my vegetables in the root cellar and discover the yams are starting to go bad. So I bring them inside to scrub down and make into soup later. I wonder if I’ll be down to just rice and beans by the end of my stint here.

Well, there’s always canned pineapple.

Karen emails to suggest that if I get the chance to trek up the road it’d be a good idea to go lock the gate now that the snowmachine season is pretty much over. So I tie my boots, put on my coat, shoulder my backpack, grab a ski pole and head up the hill. The temperature is in the twenties and the sun is shining full blast. It’s much too hot to have my hat or gloves on. I carry them in one hand just in case. I’m not really sure how far up the “road” the gate is, so I just trek on and on and think eventually I’ll have to get somewhere. An hour later, I do. All I have to do is attach the chain and secure the lock. I see dog or wolf or coyote prints in the snow. I go up past the gate a bit then turn around and go back to the Lodge. It’s a nice excursion. 

I make enough soup to feed an entire pack of (vegetarian) wolves.

At 8:50 when I go outside to cool off from the over hot inside stove and to check out the night sky the wolves are already howling.

I stay up past my bedtime to watch the full lunar eclipse.

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