and so it begins again

After a couple of weeks away to let the rest of the snow sort of melt, I arrived back at Shalom to start the new year. It was about this time a year ago I came to stay and the season has returned. Firewood is a big deal, making a warm house through the cold times. I burned about four cords over the Winter out of my stockpile of seven and now have a better idea of what it takes to get through. The first new contribution to the pile is this 66 foot lodgepole that was about 16 inches at the stump. A lot of good, solid wood and I am on my way. I love the cutting and splitting part, but moving those big rounds is, shall we say, not my favorite!

A neighbor called to inquire about conditions since they are coming in later this week. While the snow is melting fast, a quick inspection of her driveway showed a little too much snow to make an easy entrance. What can I say? I got stuck trying to bust through the drift and resorted to calling in my friend Joe and his super Jeep. He pulled me out and then stuck also, but had the winch to pull through. The tracks should melt out in a few days, except that snow is now in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday...

In wildlife news, I caught this Pine Marten cleaning up birdseed from the deck. Also sighted nearby: momma and yearling moose; the Greenback Hummingbirds (males only arrived May 10) prompted me to fill their feeder right where they expected it to be; a coyote making a high speed dash for the trees not even thinking about looking back; a large beaver in a beaver pond; and nesting pairs of Merganser and Mallard ducks and Canadian Geese on the big pond. Cute little ones to follow. No jaybird offspring to date, but soon. Bruno the Bear is certainly skulking about and hungry, but has yet to make an appearance.

Thanks for hanging in there and helping me get through the Winter! The e-companionship was critical.

More good days coming!