Trees and bushes are starting to bud and bloom, oh yeah. The male birds are twitterpated and acting strange, trying to seduce the women by doing all sorts of silly things. Animals are foraging for food during this lean dining season. There are several ridiculously large bass circling around in the lake, not interested in the worms that are offered, but chomping onto the little sunfish that did grab onto the worms. And finally, the humans are giddy from several part days of sunshine.
We had a great weekend filled with simple pleasures.
Just looking out the back windows of our simple cabin, we were treated to random appearances of a good variety of wildlife - a pair of deer, a mother bear and her three cubs (we think they were 2nd year cubs), a gray fox late one evening followed later by a porcupine and a raccoon, and turkeys, turkeys, turkeys. Throughout our stay we often heard the "drumming" of grouse and the regular vibrations of woodpeckers on nearby trees.
Our time was pleasantly filled with all sorts of activities. The men had a great time shooting all sorts of homemade targets one afternoon. Son Caleb has never been interested in hunting, but boy does he love marksmanship. I believe he shot away a small fortune in those several hours.
Caleb cruised around the woods on the four wheeler, "checking things." His puppy Sheila made a valiant effort chasing behind him, trying to keep up. It's no wonder that today she has spent the entire day sleeping.
Several times while driving by a nearby pond, we saw ducks. Of course, those sightings required us to seek out our bird books for proper identification upon returning to the cabin.
On another drive I was amused to see a new water feature had developed since my last visit. It has been named Zack's Puddle. Zack is my young nephew.
There was a good amount of wood cutting and splitting. Although the wood pile grew some this weekend, there is still a lot more that needs to be added between now and next Fall. Here is a small pile that is ready to be brought in by the fire:
And yes, those are bear bars over the windows. The cabin is in a very remote location, and we have had incidents in the past with bears. Better to be safe than sorry.
I took note that the small Christmas tree we had decorated at the cabin last Thanksgiving is growing and looks well. It is planted out on the side of the cabin. You can read about the search for that Christmas tree in this post.
Upon closer examination, I was delighted to see that it is still wearing one of our homemade Christmas decorations too.
It's just so quiet up there on the top of the mountain at nighttime. Sometimes the only sounds to be heard are the cracklings of the fire or hooting of owls in nearby trees. During one of the nights I laid awake for awhile, listening to some animal chewing or scratching on something right outside my window. Perhaps some new marks were added that night to the collection of animal marks on the exterior walls of our little place.
Probably my favorite activity this weekend, though, was simply relaxing and
baking reading in front of the fireplace. I read and reread every one of my travel catalogs, and I can assure you that I have my vacations all planned out now for the next 20 years or so. I also started a new book and made my way deep into some pretty good suspense there.
All in all, it was another good getaway.
Oh, and I'll tell you tomorrow how the cabin caught fire. Don't miss it.
Thankfully, I have lived to tell the tale.