Tonight, as you've likely guessed, we're at camp. This morning's temperature was minus 39, so we waited until noon to make the breakaway. By then the outdoor heat was registering minus 29 so we hightailed it out while the going was good. Twelve layers of insulated underwear and sweaters kept us toasty on the trail - except for a few patches of exposed cheek and chin sticking out from our mad trapper hats and snowmobile helmets.
Now, four roaring-fire hours after arrival, the cabin has warmed up enough to sit around comfortably with only two layers of clothes and one pair of wool socks in the moccasins. Unfortunately my box of wine is still frozen, but the scotch stayed liquid so I have something to accompany a nice cigar. Pretty sure the wine will be thawed in time for breakfast.
Attached is a picture of a framed watercolor painting I bought at a craft market here last month. Great story behind this painting, created by a talented local lady, and friend. I have it hanging at camp now.
I am sitting in my big bird watching chair at the moment. Sun has set and it's pitch black outside the window. And I'm typing on my little phone screen (you can imagine how much that thrills me) so won't carry on much more here for the moment.
Cheers, my friends.
P.S. About five years ago I carved this coffee scoop from a diamond willow tree. It was a nice late winter day so I sat on the deck at camp after finishing the carving, set the little spoon on the rail where I was feeding sunflower seeds to the birds, and proceeded to daydream.
The afternoon was bright and thoroughly pleasant, with the heat of the sun streaming down on me, and the chickadees flying so close that they occasionally grazed my face on their way to feed.
During my drowsy delight, this cheeky chicky landed on the spoon, and chirped, "So, you made this little perch just for me? Thanks, man!"
I enjoy some simple carving, and get a kick out of taking pictures. I'm an amateur of both, at best.
For some reason I loved this picture. Maybe because the day was so marvelous, maybe because I had created the scoop, possibly because the picture turned out so cute. Who knows? I guess several factors converged.
In the years since, I have given the coffee scoop to one of my best friends (who still uses it nearly every day) and have used the picture on my web site (dickshideaway.com), on calendars I print every year for a handful of friends, and on my business card. It's an indulgence I've basked in, just because...
Last month I was working a craft market booth, selling our Rotary ice candles for the upcoming Christmas memorial service.
I didn't see her coming, but realized suddenly at one moment that my friend Norah Laverty was standing beside me, holding up her framed water color for me to see.
It was love at first sight (the painting, not Norah). I bought it immediately and began imagining right where I would hang it at camp.
And it's hanging there now, and I'm flattered as all heck that Norah saw the picture somewhere and believed it was nice enough to create such a beautiful work of art.