Woke up to the sound of Willow throwing-up the stick she ate the day before. She does that sometimes. It was 2:30am. I put her out and cleaned up the mess. I tried to go back to sleep with no success. Since it was clear, we (Willow and I) decided to go for a walk and look at stars. Willow was happy, it took me awhile to get into it. We opted to stay in the valley bottom. The ice is almost entirely off the lake. The Milky Way stretched the length of the lake and was visible regardless of the artificial light. By 7am it was off to work. The days only guarantee would be an early bedtime.
The March winds are starting to blow. It won’t be long the ice and snow will break up, turning every patch of standing earth wet and muddy.
The birds have been singing and I even saw a few young Bighorn rams clacking heads. It’s good to practice the the fight and fuck so when they get older they’ll be good at it. It’s the same for humans whether we think so or not!
Woke up and all the puddles were froze. Some as nice as skating rinks. It reminded me of when the girls skated the puddles and the joy of finding such a surface.
Willow and I took to the creek behind the mountains. It was easy going after leaving the ice behind. The snow crunched under foot. Willow rode on top of the surface. The pussy willows were replaced with ice crystals.
Several flocks of Buntings flew and blended into the flat sky. I knew they would never land for a picture. The minus 13 wind was cold after yesterdays plus 8.
The garden gate.
Here it is the start of February and the temperature is 8°c., in a month it can go as low as -40!
A warm wind rolled in yesterday. The snow has mostly melted in the valley bottom, leaving puddles on the frozen ground.
Willow with a full coat of hair, looking worried, while winter seems to be coming to a premature end. “Did I grow this hair for nothing?” she was heard to say.
I had three people mention gardening to me today. It seems too early to consider. Still I looked at seeds online. Willow and I even strolled out to the garden. The deer have really trampled my garlic rows. Hopefully the plants won’t be effected. There is deer shit from asshole to tea kettle (asshole to tea kettle, was a saying my father regularly used. It means a lot and afar).
The forecast is calling for cold temps.
It was a good day to hang out in the wood pile.
Cooper’s and Papa’s axes.
Willow keeps an ear out.
Went out to the bar tonight. It’s been awhile. My good friend turned sixty. Hunter was kind enough to come along. The food and beer was good. Everything is expensive. It has to be. $7 for a draft $20 for an appetizer.
It’s a new year. Not sure what to say about it. Last year was tough. We got by and in this day and age that’s a good thing. Maybe the most we can ask for. If lucky, this year will be much the same.
The truck not yet stuck.
According to the news the world is topsy-turvy. Worse than ever, they say. But I don’t think it’s changed that much. Some things have got better, some worse.
One thing that has stayed the same is our leaders are a bunch of self absorbed arseholes. But when haven’t they been?
Why I’m careful where I break trail.
We have had three days of above freezing temperatures. The lake has an inch of water on the ice. The snow has receded to the benches. The deer are walking around like it’s springtime. It’s disconcerting, I expect winter to be winter. I wake up and look outside to see if snow is falling. When it isn’t, I go back to bed but not to sleep.
Our occupation with the undoings of Trump and Trudeau is puzzling. They make good news. However they are far from us. They are certainly scoundrels. But they take away from the more dangerous scoundrels closer to home. Think about that School Superintendent that works to cut wages in the district and gives himself a raise. How about all those developers that, selflessly run for town council changing bylaws for their own benefit.
In 2019 fuck Trump and Trudeau and all their hype. It’s only a distraction. If you want to slay dragons, do it closer to home.
A small Downey chips away.
The night is clear. Orion is up ruling the dark. The temperature is dropping. I should be in the bush, knee deep in snow, Willow clearing the perimeter, with only an outward breath between me and the sky.
A proud raven, with a shiny red piece of meat in it’s beak, flew and perched on our roof. I distracted Willow, so she wouldn’t see, but she caught a whiff. The barking started, the raven took off into the grey November sky.
Used the last of the summer onions today. The ones I plucked out of the dry earth when the sky was shrouded in smoke from forest fires. They were tucked away and it was lucky I’d found them.
We still have plenty of beets, spuds, carrots, garlic and smoke. The firewood is also plenty, more than holding up.
November, when the ground is either froze or not, can be harsh. The light continues to diminish, colours disappear and are replaced by grey. It can rain or snow and footing must be tested.
There’ll come a day, sure as hell, we’ll suffer shortages. But for now, thank God, it’s only money.
Rode into the bush tonight just to make sure the stars were still up there. It’s been awhile since the sky has cleared. Sure enough there they were between breaks in the clouds. They were all out of place from the last time I looked. It is reassuring to become aligned once again.
We were treated to two owls hooting back and forth. The one who started first sounded like a dog barking. Willow’s hackles went up. Her circle got smaller and she barked back. Then another owl started. It was the the barking owl, the barking dog and then the hooting owl, over and over, for about ten minutes. Finally, between the three of them, they must have worked out their differences and stopped the chatter. Quiet returned. Willow’s circle grew.
Down in the valley or up in the mountains, at my age, I’m lucky, I walk where I want, I’m either not worth the bother or too much trouble. Willow stays alert just in case my bluff is called.
Cresting the summit.
We have had a few beautiful days. It only seemed right to get into the mountains one more time before the snow started falling in earnest.
Morning light touches the mountain tops. Willow scans the trail ahead.
Willow, Maynard and I set out early and were on the trail before sun up. We climbed up quickly through the bush. I studied the places I was going to have difficulty with coming down. The snow was crisp, but it would be icy directly under the trees come afternoon. Some of the ice would be unavoidable. There was a day I would hop, skip and jump down the trail.
Maynard and Willow walk the ridge.
Now I am more economical, to put it kindly. Not to many waisted steps. Some of those steps are damn slow. It reminds me that I have to stay in shape so I can show these places to Cooper and Scarlett.
In some places the snow was hard and others I broke through. On the ridge the snow was windblown hard or blown off the rocks so the going was relative easy.
Looking back along the windy ridge.
Willow led the way. Maynard stayed right with me.
The sky and sun was brilliant. The next snowstorm will make the ridge inaccessible.
Hypnotizing Maynard and Willow with a piece of cheese.
When we got back to the truck I had a cold coffee waiting for me. It hit the spot. The hounds slept the way home. Very fine day.