Sunday, December 24, 2017

"Merry Christmas" in Mouse

"Merry Christmas" in mouse said the tracks between my shed and the Ponderosa pine. Yesterday morning, I had gone outside to read the night's traffic report.  A handful of deer had been kicking aside snow to get to ivy, a rabbit had hopped towards the road, a raccoon had meandered through, and the mouse trails rounded every building.  The scratchings of bird feet made delicate marks in gatherings where the snow met the edges of dirt under the pines, as if the birds had been dancing at dawn.  My yard's fresh snow was bisected with so many animal trails that it resembled a Seattle freeway grid.  Such is the winter commute to my holiday abode by my wild guests.

I am home this year for the holiday season.  Like this elk I spotted from the end of my driveway, my feet are grounded in winter.  I didn't even bring a tree inside the house.  There are trees all around me.

I put the string of bubble lights in my front window instead of on a tree like in the past.  Leaning against the cold panes of glass, they can't seem to get warm enough to bubble consistently.  I don't mind.  The color is sufficient.  Have you spotted the deer by the car yet?

Lizzie and I curl up inside.  The temperature was 11 degrees last night.  Although she wears her wool coat, she doesn't like this snow on her feet.  When Art and I took her for a walk along the river a few days ago, she refused to walk far and had to be carried.  (Sometimes, I question whether she is actually a Scottish-English breed or not!)

With glorious sunlight on the newly-fallen snow, I took a short walk up the river.  Without Lizzie. 

And without Art, who was hiking the loop high around a knoll across the way from the cabin. He was up where we had heard a cougar on Thanksgiving Day.  He saw the tracks of that elk above, but heard no cougar.  He saw no animals, just clouds drifting across the mountains. 

I have celebrated so many winter holidays, but this one seems particularly memorable.  Tomorrow Art and I will sit to a meal of cornish hens, zuchini, sweet potato balls, brussel sprouts and an orange cake.  Tonight I'll go to sleep with dreams, not of sugar plums, but of frosted trees, the sound of a river and images of the tracks of wild animals.  Glorious stuff.

Before I retire on this Eve, I wish all of you:
"God Rest Ye..." in raccoon.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave comments. They are most welcome.