Thursday, April 24, 2014

An Infestation of Beavers

Caretaker’s Log, Monday, April 21, 2014
The float charge I’d worried about last night is back up to 56.4. This is good. This is reassuring. 

While the ground is still hard enough to tread upon, I take an hour walk around the property perimeter. I follow the river, annoy the geese, upset a few chipmunks. The birds are singing. When I see the bridge I say aloud for all the wildlife to hear, “This looks safe.” They don’t issue any warnings. No one stops me for a toll. I cross, pausing half way over to stop and take some pictures of the water.

Back at the Lodge the wind is too gusty to properly sunbathe on the front patio. I go inside. Wanting warmth, I go out to the sauna and fire it up. I sweat it out for a while in comfortable relaxation.

After the fire is out and I get cleaned up, I go around back to view the river and the north mountain and the descending sun and discover that there are at least three beavers. I watch them slip in and out of the water and wish my camera had a better zoom. 

Before I check the weather I start up some soup. Cabbage, beets, carrots, zucchini, garlic, and a miscellany of spices are the mixture I use. It turns pink. There’s a lot. I don’t know how I feel about this soup.

I eat the last of my sweet potato soup for dinner.

Caretaker’s Log, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Morning again and I’m up and about. Mornings are the best time when there is heavy whipping cream to put in good coffee. I work a crossword puzzle, mess around online for a bit, check the generator shed, pet the cat, make granola.

While the granola is turning golden in the oven I sit on the porch and listen to the snow melt and the birds gossip.

I vacuum the living room, the kitchen, the alcove.

I eat a can of pineapple chunks.

My mom calls.

The pink soup turns out to be all right after all. Especially with the rice which I make just the way Peruvian Geraldine taught me to make it. She’d be very proud.

Feels like a storm’s coming in.

Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It’s three weeks today that I’ve been here. The time is an uncanny marker. I don’t really know what I mean by that.

Sometime during the night it snowed. Just a dusting. The ground looks cleaner. Colder.

I’m drinking the last of the heavy whipping cream in my coffee this morning.

Karen emailed me to say if I would inventory the storage room freezer she’d pay me a little bit. I might have done it for free, but the cash is nice. This must be why God invented Paypal. So I amble to the back room and inventory the contents of the freezer. Most of the meat is labeled and I guess at weights. Beef, approximately two pounds, 8 packages. That kind of thing. There are a couple unidentified and unidentifiable packages. I think I call them all chicken. This is what happens when you ask a vegetarian to inventory meat. There is also a section labelled “Good Leftovers.” 

I inventory those and am glad I’m not required to eat any of it. The frozen vegetables are of three kinds: spinach, green beans, and broccoli cuts.

It hasn’t gotten above freezing today. Playing in the freezer or playing outside—it’d all be about the same temperature. There’s blowing snow coming in from the north.

While I’m on a roll, I inventory the items in the kitchen freezer. Then I put all this information in an Excel spreadsheet and email it off to Karen.

My day’s work done, I heat up some pink soup and rice. The phone startles me just as I’m picking the bowl up to take it to the table. I talk with my grandmother. I get a few bites of soup when my mom calls. She asks me about a quinoa recipe and then we ring off. I’m almost done with my late lunch, early dinner when my sister calls. It’s like a switchboard grand central station around here this afternoon. Thank you for calling. How may I direct your call? It’s nice.

When I go to check the generator shed I see one of the smallish beavers. I’m starting to distinguish between them. Not all beavers look the same.
I see the kingfisher again. It’s flashy and quick.

Besides standing to do all the inventorying I haven’t been very active today. I feel restless so I lace up my boots and go wade through the snow up to the far fence edge. If nothing else, I’ll have stronger legs when I leave. I climb up on the fencepost and sit with the snow flurries brushing my face. The sun glows against the thick clouds. 

I pause to look in the water (is it Kinky Creek or the river here? I don’t know) and see another beaver. A close up of a beaver! He turns tail and dives under water before I can get a picture.

This place is infested with beavers.

At 7:32 it’s snowing like crazy.

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