frozen over

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It’s the kind of weather that feels cold. Snow or rain most of the time, wet and overcast. Everything is grey, it seems, even the snow.

Inside is hot, outside holds a chill. Caught between seasons and unusual for November, usually cold as fuck frozen

Got in a few casts before the lake was completely frozen. The fish weren’t biting. The next time I’ll be dangling a hook down a hole in the ice, never hopeful with such a situation, no action on the lure, no casting where the fish just jumped.

Late October

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Was behind the mountains where we used to catch fish in the streams. Where we sipped the cold water from the spring beside the trail. How we used to look forward to it on a hot day after exploring the back country, or hunting for deer and elk, sometimes we only came home with chicken. I remember thinking, if it wasn’t for all these damn trees I’d be able to see something to shoot at.

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Now the trees are large and I wonder sometime if they were always there. Every trip it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time. Same as the ridges, the way the light hits them. It’s cold in the creek bottom, dark and icy, but those ridges basked in the last light look mighty inviting.

I don’t go far, never have, there is still plenty of ridges, I haven’t walked, without ruck or crowd, right under my nose. Tamarack, old, hard, and twisted. Scree slopes, waterfalls, fish behind rocks, mountains that change depending on the light, enough for 10 lifetimes if you had four sets of eyes.

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It’s getting chilly. The snow is on the mountains. You could die if you break your ankle, freeze if you fall through the ice, get lost in the crooks and crags, too scared to move in the dark.

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Who needs a jet plane to explore? When you can count on the stars.

either or

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Two Boxers got on Willow, she realized she was in trouble and was fighting back. I saw it from inside and ran out. A couple boots and I picked up Willow. This is not what you are supposed to do when your dog is being attacked by other dogs.

The Boxers where persistent. They snapped at her. Unlike some of the other fights I’ve been in I had to use both feet. I hit them in the chest. I was out of breath by the time the Boxers ran off.

I knocked a Rottweiler out once, when I was a youngster I was bitten plenty, I kicked him right under the chin. The clack his teeth made was like the sound when a good punch lands. It was square. Never planned.

He stumbled around for awhile and retreated.

It can go either way. That’s dogs for you when they remember they were once wild.

mid October

RCE_3988-PanosmKiller frost playing hell with the vibrance.

The leaves are thinning, starting at the top. I can’t say I’m sad to see them go. Green has always tricked my eye. I can’t see depth or discern between it’s different shades. The bush is turned deep again. The bears are revealed, along with elk, a mile away, scratching on slides, and dead trees, way back, begging to be cut and split, and I’d agree with them if only they were closer to the road.

The Tamaracks are turning, the snow is lowering and it’s getting damn cold in the morning. The long underwear is on till April, even if we do get a warm spell. Willow is taking no time growing her winter coat. She gives it a scratch now and again.

_LME3622Willow hanging in the skuff.

The wood is in. Next year’s still has to be piled. And I’m the shits at piling. Crooked rows, uneven spacing between blocks, shaky disbursement, all in an effort to mix up the types of wood.

IMG_2372Many brag, but few can deliver both length and girth.

An armful of split wood for the fireplace should contain at a least two, if not three species, cedar to get it going, pine to create a good hot base and larch to burn hot and slow, crackling once and awhile just to keep you hypnotized while the snow builds up.

It won’t be long now and we will start work in the dark and get home in it as well.

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anger or instinct

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The dog before Willow was named Slinky, she was brave like Willow, but also a physically perfect specimen of her breed.

She would dig for hours for gophers and mice. Once I saw her leap into the air and catch a bird taking off out of the long grass. She didn’t like the cold and wouldn’t swim. She often looked at me like I was crazy, as if to say, isn’t there an easier way.

In the bush she was always on guard, refusing to sleep as long as we were in the open. 

When the girls were young they would light a fire in the yard and have friends over. This was the same time my good neighbour Larry had a constant stream of couch surfers at his place, most harmless enough. Lost souls he was lending a hand at the expense of his wife and children who had moved out.

Every now and again Larry got a real winner. Roy was one of those. He came off like a salesman, he had the bloated look, the laugh when nothing was funny, but no teeth, except one right in the front. Larry told him, try to hang onto it as it could be the anchor for a plate.

Roy even got a job running the local bar, until he was drinking more than they were bringing in.

Roy, once a long time ago, was coming home drunk and ran up on the kids having their fire. Slinky got him before he got there and bit his hand, she was aiming for his nuts, but he wisely got his hand down in time. 

Roy’s night was over. The booze and dog bite will take it out of you, especially if you have no teeth to bite back.

The kids got me, I escorted Ray the remaining way to Larry’s. I was concerned he might report being bit by a dog. I told him I was pissed off, because my dog might have caught rabies from him. 

Lisa was concerned that Slinky was turning angry, the friendliest dog, could bite someone. Lisa asked me to take her to the vet to see if she was in pain, maybe she had bad teeth. It turned out I had bad teeth, Roy had one bad tooth, but Slinky’s teeth were in perfect condition.

Slinky was doing what just came natural.

In this day and age we have plenty of threats running up on us. Some of them are real, most are not. I’m like an old dog and can’t tell the difference. My hackles are up, my bad teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. It’s a miracle I have any bite at all. 

I’ve heard it

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Seen it this way before.

Still disconcerting.

It looks hopeless,

this time with science

on their side.

It was in the sixties. . . or seventies

eighties even

they said it the same

but different.