This robin is nesting on our deck beam, about three feet from where we sit at home to watch the lake. She sings to us from a perch in the crab apple tree... enchanting.
Spring arrived so quickly that we could almost watch the tree leaves bursting from their buds across the bay during breakfast yesterday morning. Fresh caught fish with fruit and coffee at our lakeside bar made the perfect morning to celebrate.
Saturday morning mystery!!
On arrival at camp yesterday afternoon, I was greeted with a few tidy little piles of nuggets (shit, to us earthy types who are not offended by bawdy house language) in the living room, a mess of candles, books and other items strewn from window sills onto the floor, a bag of dog food ripped open and mostly eaten (tough luck, Rosie and Boomer - remember that diet I've been threatening you with?), and a fist-size hole through the
screen of a window I had left propped open a few inches.
After considerable investigation, I concluded that a marten had gotten in, made itself at home, then frantically tried to get out and finally found the open window, smashed a hole through the screen and jumped six feet to the ground to make its exit.
The unanswered question remained, how did he get in?
At 5 o'clock this morning Rosie woke me up with growling in the living room. Hoping to see my first bear of the year (possibly beside the log outside where he had left the plumpest calling card I've ever seen) or maybe a moose passing through the yard, I jumped from bed, slammed my glasses on and rushed out to the front room, sans fruit of the looms, even, and there was the damnedest thing! A CAT was racing, 100 miles an hour, at least, around the cabin, jumping and leaping from furniture to window sills over, under, around everything, with my two guard dogs in hot pursuit.
After bonking its head on the window that used to be open (I closed it before going to bed last night to keep the heat in) that cat disappeared somewhere in the direction of the bathroom and the bedrooms at the back of the cabin.
With that, I scratched my head, figured I must be having some kind of cool dream, possibly inspired by drinking the part bottle of wine that had been sitting in the cupboard for the last six weeks after supper last night, and promptly leaped (not wanting to stand too close to the bed, in case something might reach out and grab me by the leg) back into the sack, pulled a pillow over my eyes, muttered to the dogs, "A cat... strange" and fell back to sleep.
An hour later I woke again, stepped as far away and as fast as I could away from the bed, visions of my boyhood boogie man nemesis and some wild creature I had dreamed about raging through my foggy brain, grabbed a flashlight, and bravely peered under the bed...
Here's what I saw. A CAT!!
Our cabin is miles from any other building. There's no road anywhere near. It's hard to tell from the little I've seen, but this guy looks clean and well cared for. I don't think it's a feral cat - its really too calm for a wild animal. Its demeanor reminds me more of a pet that's used to taking shelter from young children when they get too rough.
Whose cat is this, I wonder? How did it get here? Should I give it a name? What happens next? Should I wear chaps to bed, just in case it tries to claw me?
Post Script. Mary didn't come to camp this weekend, so she knows nothing of Puss-In-Boots under the bed. I called her this afternoon...
ME: Will you run down to the leather store and get me a pair of chaps, please?
MARY: What? Chaps? What the hell do you need chaps for?
ME: I'm going to wear them to bed in case the wildcat comes out during the night.
MARY: Not gonna happen, Loverboy.
I awoke this morning wondering if the proper way to refer to more than one pair of jockey shorts would be "fruits of the loom" or "fruit of the looms." In the haze of early wakedom I pondered the relationship to "mothers in law" and "mother in laws" (it's mothers-in-law, of course) and determined, eventually, that the correct way is "fruit of the looms."
More important was the little voice that rasped in my head right then, "You're a fruit of the loom, buddy. It's been more than a month since you've spent a weekend at camp. Better go take care of yourself."
So, my pack is filled (two pounds of hamburger, a dozen whole wheat buns, three bananas, and a bottle of wine). It's a two-hour walk. See you Sunday afternoon.
Today was a great one for a walk - overcast, cool, snowy and brutal for a spring day - but a beauty for a little hike.
I decided to treat Rosie and Boomer to a walk to camp. Through a series of old trails and some dead reckoning through the woods we made the trip in two hours. I judged the distance to be about four miles.
Enroute we passed this cairn erected to honor local outdoorsman George Kendall and the burial ground of Sioux Lookout influenza victims from 1908 - 1915. Speculation is that the bodies were transported by train to the burial ground a couple miles west of town to isolate the disease from the townspeople of the time.
The cemetery became forgotten and grown over in the wilderness as the seasons marched relentlessly on, until a few years ago when George Kendall, embarked on explorations of his own, chanced upon the little meadow of graves.
Markers, records, names disappeared long ago. A new cross has been placed at each site, but the stories underneath may never be known (on the other hand, anyone reading this who has information, should let me know. Please.)
The dogs and I shared a special joy as camp came into sight. It's the first time we've been there since my surgery April 1. Much of the snow has melted. Six Robins were busy scratching up the forest floor. Oscar the Grouse didn't make his appearance in person, but he left tracks in the mud. Camp is patiently awaiting spring and summer days ahead. We all shared some daydreams for a couple wonderful hours before beginning the two-hour return walk.
At home, Boomer and Rosie both immediately chose couch positions and have embarked on an evening of sweet dreams.