What a difference a day makes! This morning when I woke at THO – I could not longer see over the escarpment to the windmills on Wolfe Island… I could not even see the Rideau Canal. As a matter of fact, I could not see the end of the ridge. By next week the canopy will steal the sky.
Posts Tagged With: nature
Speaking of things that lurk in the forest, it looks like we had a visitor in the night. Actually I think that there were four or perhaps five of them. It is hard to guess because the footprints are all mixed up. They were travelling East. This visitor left paw prints as big as the palm of my hand. I think he must be a very big boy!
Can you believe that I never heard a peep or a howl. Incredible since they were very close to THO, the snow is so crunchy and I sleep with my head next to the open window.
I wish I would have seen them!
Beware the ides of March!
Out in the forest there are a lot of things that go bump in the night. I love this about THO! Being so close to nature is brilliant. Even so, I have been very nervous about letting my dogs out after dark. In 2011 our poor little handicapped Phyllis (who died in 2012) had a very close call with a fisher even though I was just a foot away from her. If you have never heard one here is a little video. Imagine how scary is was to have that thing screaming outside your house for hours after scooping up a little dog and bringing her in to safety; bloodcurdling! The creature was mighty mad that it missed the poodle meal! Despite what the ladies in the video said, it is my experience that these fishers seem to have little fear of humans, I hear them outside very frequently. This is why I only bring out the dogs individually on a short leash after dark if they ABSOLUTELY have to go.
I purchased a powerful but costly little 12 volt spotlight last year when I was getting the wiring for the house but at the time I did not have a ladder to get up there. Now that it is warm enough and I have a ladder, I got the light into place. I wish I had the sort of camera that worked well in night conditions so that I could show you how bright the candle is for this little light, but since I don’t I will estimate that it is similar in brightness to a 200 watt bulb.
It looks terrific and is bright! In fact, the dog garden lights up like a ball field. Obviously, I don’t want to light pollute at THO and keep away the fireflies and other wild wonders, but it is great to be able to get the dogs out and feel safely able to see what is out there. This said, I won’t use it except to let the dogs out and also to help people see to get to their vehicle at night. Despite the $100 cost it is a very nice safety feature to have.
I have finally installed the wood spirit that I purchased from wood carver, Steven Kenzora. When I wrote about the purchase in an earlier post, I said that it would be put in a place of honour.
Since picking it up I gave quite some thought to where this would be. I decided, finally, to secure it in the arms of an ironwood tree and is facing the entry door of the house. The tree is due North-West of THO which marks the line between black and white, earth and air and is directionally the mark of the winter solstice with respect to THO itself. What is interesting, at least to me, is that the tree, an ironwood (considered to be magical by those who practice Wicca) seems to have grown in the specific location and shape to hold this carving. Ironwood is a slow growing tree with a 7.0 growth factor; so this tree, with a ten inch diameter is about 75-85 years old. I guess this tree is a sister to Twerp (so named for Tolkein) who is due South-West to THO and perhaps 20-30 years older than what is now named, Wood Spirit Tree. Interesting too, I think, THO has ironwood trees that are at all four directional cusps and each is within a couple of hundred feet of the house at each of the cusp directions.
What I did not notice until I joined the two is that there is a howling wolf that was carved by nature into the wood which Steven carved into. Like the Wood Spirit the wolf is a symbol of community and communication, but the wolf is also a loyal guardian.
A lot of symbolic meaning hidden in plain sight. If you know about these things than you may have guessed that I have been recently influenced by a viking.
Can you see any other symbolism that I failed to mention here?
I am back in Hamilton just in time to miss a great opportunity to snow-shoe at THO. Even so, the birds here in Hamilton are happy to have me back. My feeders are covered in snow that is at least a foot and a half deep now and showing no sign of stopping. After the drive and walkways were shovelled, I cleared off a spot on top of the patio chair and the air-conditioner and dumped a bunch of seed and peanuts there. I am unsure if you can see just how many birds there are here, sheltering themselves in the cedars in between turns, but I am guessing there are about 50-60 of them.
The drought last summer makes food so scarce this winter, so I am tipping the scales for these little creatures just a little bit. There are lots of varieties of sparrows, dark eyed Juncos, starlings, purple grosbeaks a cardinal pair who depend on my feeders.
They pay me back by sharing their beauty with my eyes and mind and of course by singing. They always remind me of my great love, Townes Van Zandt. Specifically Townes haunting voice and lyrics, “the birds were talking all at once” come to me… and so I sing too, along with the little chatterers, in my off key and not so wonderful way.
Thankfully my dogs don’t mind much.