Monday, February 9, 2015

Dusk Is For Beavers

Caretaker’s Log, Friday, February 6, 2015

I'm up out of bed and down stairs by 8:30. All the chores are done by 9:00.

Michaela calls from Acapulco.

I post a blog.

At 11:00, I reset things in the generator shed. The amp hours removed is at 30. That seems high, but I don't really know what the numbers mean. Power in and power out, I know that much, but if it's good or bad maybe it's just thinking that makes it so.

I make pancakes for breakfast.

Now it's time to go out and adventure.

I put on the snowshoes and follow the fence line to the river. I'm going to check out the area of the possible beaver sighting. My goal is to not fall in the river. I follow moose tracks a good part of the way, winding around the reeds, not ever going in a single straight line. Moose don't seem to be concerned with the quickest way between two points. I see an area of furrowed snow where something has slid into the water. It looks more and more likely that it was a beaver I glimpsed. My snowshoeing destination becomes a fence across the way. I don’t get there in a straight line. I fall a couple times in the snow. It's easier to get up in snowshoes than it is on skis.

A moose looks askance at me from a distance.

I make it to my destination and I achieve my goal; I never fall into the river.

I come back to the lodge and chop five sleds full of wood. I now have about a three week supply of firewood split and ready to burn.

For a lark, for a video, I dive into the snow.

I'm getting cleaned up when Phinehas calls. We talk for a while.

I take a bath. Wash my hair for the first time in a week. I wash my sweatshirt for the first time in a month. I let it sit in hot water and soap in the sink with some other clothes. Let's just say it needed to be washed.

I eat the leftover pancakes for breakfast as an afternoon snack.

I call Grandmama.
I wring out the laundry and hang it to dry on the string above the stove.

I record the weather.

It's been a really busy day. Finally, I can sit down for a bit.

Venus in the west, Jupiter in the east.

I eat quinoa for dinner.

I write. I'm tired, but I make myself sit and work for at least 300 words. I end up with 571.

I watch a show.

I get the hiccups.

I go to bed.

Caretaker’s Log, Saturday, February 7, 2015

A mighty wind wakes me around 5:00 AM. It roars over the lodge. Howls. Then it's gone or I'm asleep again.

It's snowing when I get up.

The sky spits bits of sporadic snow. Off and on. Multiple storms blow over. The wind comes alive, makes forms of the fine misty ground snow and blows them west to east. It's a good day to stay inside and I'm grateful that I can.

I curl up on the couch and read Smilla’s Sense of Snow. It seems fitting to read about winter in Denmark and Greenland as I watch winter in Wyoming from the comfort of the lodge. Smilla thinks: Reading snow is like listening to music. To describe what you've read is like explaining music in writing. I think about the tracks I've seen and wish I were better at understanding, at reading snow.

Then the wind blows the snow in thick bundles west to east in a sideways slant.

Snow and wind. Wind and snow. That's today.
I see my first moose way off in the distance at the foothills of the northern slope at 1:36 PM.

For lunch I make spicy noodles and top it with a fried egg.

It's a nice day. A quiet one but for the wind. It blows all day long.

The cat and I see the black vested bird. 

I read. I write. I read.

I write some more. I'm not sure how to get the story where I want it to go. I listen to the wind, I pause in the middle of a sentence (when I'm reading and when I'm writing) to try and connect the dots in my mind, to make the story work. It's like wading through waist deep snow—hard.

It's a quiet day, except for the wind, and I enjoy every moment of it.

Caretaker’s Log, Sunday, February 8, 2015

The sun is out, the sky blue, the clouds scattered.

I wake up feeling rested. I went to bed early. Earlier than the last few nights anyway.

The cat is happy about the sunshine.

It's warm enough with the sunshine through the windows that I don't start a fire. I still haven't started one by 11:00.

The phone rings. It's a wrong number.

I eat leftover Scottish oatmeal for breakfast. I add a touch of provolone cheese to cut some of the sweetness from the fruit compote that I’ve mixed in with it.

It's Sunday so I water the plants.

The wind is less severe today.

I read for a bit.

I renew my subscription to the Caretaker Gazette. Now I can be on the lookout for future places to go again.

I file my taxes. It takes a couple hours to make sure things are right. The end result could have been much more painful. Also, it could have been much less. But the thing is done.

It's 2:30 when I start the fire. A chill has settled in the room and the fire will knock that right away.

I put on the snowshoes to go get potatoes, eggs, and apples out of the root cellar. I have to forge a brand new path across the windblown snow. I bring in some carrots while I'm at it.

I call Grandmama.

I make eggs and potatoes for a late, late lunch. I'm starving. It's been a taxing day. Get it?

I eat.

Michaela calls from Huatulco. She’s seen another whale, a myriad of dolphins, sea turtles, and one seal.  

The cat and I take our nightly walk around. She's in a playful mood. I'm looking out at the river and I see movement. My sighting of Thursday is confirmed. It's the beavers. There are two.

Dusk is for beavers. I remember this from last spring.

There is a moose in the reeds. She looms large in comparison to the beavers.

I call Grandmama again to let her know Michaela is at port and also about the beavers and moose.

Weather time.

Hello, Jupiter. Hello, Venus. Good night, Cat.

I cross the 100 page threshold in the book I’m writing. Slowly, dangerously, my character and I are figuring things out. It may only be a slight disaster instead of a total one. First drafts are… a work in progress.

I watch a show.

Michaela calls a second time. She says our parents are more likely to visit her than me because she’s got more things for them to do and see. That’s probably true. Though, I do have beavers now to add to my wildlife collection.

I shut things down and call it a night.

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