Caretaker’s Log, Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I slept so well last night. I feel like a better person, a refreshed soul, or just more rested.
There’s a spider in the bathtub. I’ve left it there for now.
The sun is out!
The birds are out.
The ground squirrels are out.
I bring my coffee outside. The cat comes loping over from the direction of the tool shed.
I’ll head up to the dam sometime after the 10:00 generator shed system check. It feels so nice just to sit here. As if I have nothing in the world to do. Or at least as if I can put off what I have to do until just a little bit later.
The creek is still full.
I relocate the bathtub spider to the outside upstairs balcony.
The dam grate is fine, clear. I clean off what little debris is there more as a formality than anything else.
I head down the hill. There are two bright, white spots down in the valley lake.
I go a different way, so as to get a closer view. Through the lens of the binoculars I watch them float. Then it’s bottoms up as they search for a meal. That makes me laugh out loud.
A gaggle of geese in the east field protest the swans.
When I’m back at the Lodge, I glance over at the north mountains and see an elk. It’s staring at me, I presume, frozen in time for a still moment. Then it moves off into the trees.
I eat a can of pineapples (4.5 servings it says on the can. How about one serving? I need all the calories I can get) and some tahini for a lunch-snack.
I talk with my grandmother.
With tenacity more than anything else, I finish the jigsaw puzzle. It was a hard one. Not as fun as some of the others.
I talk to Michaela.
The red tailed hawk is soaring over the front yard. The ground squirrels don’t even seem to care.
I cut into my last lemon.
I use the last of the honey for another, final batch of granola.
At 7:00 I record the weather, check the things outside, bring in some wood, feed and give fresh water to the cat.
I have quinoa for dinner. It’s nice outside. I was going to eat my dinner on the front porch until I saw the mosquitoes.
The beavers are out again.
I didn’t light the fire tonight. There was no need.
Before I get in bed I stand on the balcony and look up into the sky. Wow. Just wow. I stare up at the rising constellations. I’m not so familiar with the southern sky. Just out of sight to my left is the Big Dipper. Just out of sight to my right is Orion. A satellite moves north to south. I watch it trace through the night, through the twinkling stars.
Caretaker’s Log, Thursday, May 22, 2014
I do some little clean up chores first thing. The pots and pans that have been under the formerly leaking doorframe for weeks now I finally pick up and take to the kitchen to clean. I put the books I’ve finished reading back in their places on the shelves.
I spend some time sitting on the front porch in the sun.
At 11:09 I go up to the dam. There’s some debris to clear off this time. I clear it off. I’m back at the Lodge by 12:03.
The elk is on the north ridge again.
It’s a 60+ degree day.
A day filled with doing little chores.
I wash some clothes. I try the printer again, this time hooking it up to the ancient machine that lives here at the ranch, to no avail. My ticket to ride will have to be printed elsewhere. I put the printer back in Willow cabin from where I’d taken it. I prop the ladder that had fallen when the snow melted back against the roof. I put back the ladder I’d moved to get in the attic crawl space when the door had leaked back over the pipe that holds it in place.
The bald eagle flies overhead.
I wash the pots and pans.
Hang the clean(er) clothes out to dry in the sun and wind.
Refill the diesel dust buckets.
Burn the burnable trash out in the incinerator shed.
Take out the recycling.
The wind has blown the tack room door open and I go to close it. I reach to shut it and catch a whiff of leather and horse. I’m taken back to all the days I rode, all the days I spent loving all things equestrian. I shut the door.
I disturb a lot of ducks in the river. They take off from the water indignant, upset at being forced to move.
Sweep the front porch.
Put the worked puzzles away.
Read a little.
For dinner I make up rice pasta with the last jar of artichoke hearts and two cans of mushrooms. It turns out okay.
The creek is flooding again… more?
The sky turns pink as the sun goes down. The water turns pink with the sky.
An attempt to Skype with my friend Pontus fails. I shoot him an apologetic email.
I call it an early night.
Caretaker’s Log, Friday, May 23, 2014
The world has turned green as if overnight. It’s alive. Breathtaking.
I call my niece Shea to wish her a happy third birthday. I leave a singing message on the voicemail. A bit later, my sister-in-law returns the call. I sing to Shea. She laughs. I talk with Marie for a while.
There’s more debris on the dam grate. I clear it off. For now it’s a bright, glorious sunshiny day. A helicopter flies overhead. The clouds come in.
The swans are back on the lake.
With my chore done for the day I plan to start my “holiday” weekend off right. I take my book to the front porch and settle in with the ground squirrels for company and a cup of coffee for refreshment.
A hummingbird, the kind I’d met last summer in the Colorado mountains, flies, chirping, right by me!
The hours pass.
Michaela calls. Her holiday weekend has started as well.
The red tailed hawk and the bald eagle are soaring circles around each other over the east field.
The clouds are darkening.
The wind is picking up.
Storm coming in?
I read another chapter.
There’s the thunder!
There’s the rain.
Sitting outside in a rain storm with the porch overhang to keep me dry, counting seconds between the lightning and thunder. One second for that one. Nine seconds for that one. Peals of thick, heavy, satisfying thunder. The rain pelts down throwing in a bit of tiny hail and then eases.
There’s an eight degree drop in temperature in about ten minutes. It was 65.1 not too long ago. Now it’s 49.6.
The rain blows in sideways.
The storm blows over and the clouds break up, run away.
At seven I go out to collect the precipitation bucket. I get an up close and personal with the beavers. Close enough to watch the big one groom himself. Close enough to hear the sound the smaller one makes as she gnaws on a stick. Trying to be slow and quiet, I move closer and the big one growls at me. He slips into the water, slapping his tail hard on the surface to scare me away. The smaller beaver takes his spot. Again I get too close.
This time she slips into the water, slapping the surface with her tail. But she swims by me, swims by close, as if to see who I am, what I am. Then a second tail slap and she’s gone as well.
It’s been a really nice day.
I start up a fire and cozy in on the couch with a book. I stay up past midnight reading.