I like sitting at the table in front of the big window and seeing the wood smoke drift out towards the driveway. Sometimes the smoke catches the sunlight and throws a blast of light into the cabin, sometimes it casts a shadow. The blue jays haven’t been around much lately, but the nut hatches are getting closer and closer.
I’ve seen some black-capped chickadees (yes, I’ve learned the difference) in the apple trees. They always seem to hang out in the trees where there are no rotten apples still clinging to the branches, but in the barren trees. I figured they would want to pick apart the apples and get the seeds, but I guess not. Maybe they have enough food without going through all that work. That’s what I love about nature, you never really know.
I’ve been hearing a moose near-by. Not too far from hear, on Normans Ridge Rd., was where some of the first confirmed sightings of moose were back about ten years ago. My “neighbors,” who have not been seen since hunting season, supposedly captured the moose on their game camera. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were near the cabin. They tend to like heavily wooded areas, and except for a few acres of cleared land right around my cabin, it’s pretty wooded up here.
The forest is really nice. I like all forests, but the land here is just amazing. There are tight clumps of evergreens amid huge, open stretches of hardwoods. The rabbit tracks dart from evergreen to evergreen, and the birds hang out in the bare hardwoods until Pico and I walk by. Then they scramble to hide themselves among the green boughs of the white pine, red spruce and eastern hemlock.
There’s definitely been some very cold snaps, even for this mild winter. Twenty below zero hasn’t been all that uncommon so far, and when it’s that cold, even the trees have a hard time staying alive outside. Maybe that’s something that most people don’t think about, that trees and plants are living things that are subject to the same survival scenarios as any wild animal. Day after day and night after night, they stand against the cold, the wind, the weight of the snow. And sometimes, just like people, they snap. The weight of the world tears them down against all odds, and then some puny human like me comes along to cut up and split their remains for next year’s fire wood supply.