24 Little Hours

What a difference a day makes.

After losing two major branches to the Ice-storm we decided our Winter Tree needed some TLC so we made a bit of a garden around her base with some logs from the tree across the way that had a severe prune, (also from the ice-storm) some newspaper to inhibit the grass and bucketloads of our nicely nutritious compost.

A garden of one’s own – a bit of snow still on the ground but Spring was looking like it was just around the corner

A garden of one’s own – a bit of snow still on the ground but Spring was looking like it was just around the corner

Then, this happened …

Nothing serious, just a little bit more snow, amirite?

Nothing serious, just a little bit more snow, amirite?

As it got dark, the snow began to get serious, and seriouser …

What manner of mysterious creature is playing underneath my branches?

What manner of mysterious creature is playing underneath my branches?

It was some rare and seldom photographed, (mostly because they’re invisible) SNOW DRAGONS …

Heh, heh, heh ... you can’t see us

Heh, heh, heh … you can’t see us

They frolicked and gamboled in the snow underneath the Winter Tree until Mama Racoon …. erm, I mean Mama SNOW DRAGON called them in for supper.

You still can’t see us! Hee, hee, hee

You still can’t see us! Hee, hee, hee

Off they hopped into the night …

Look! Mama left the porch light on for us

Look! Mama left the porch light on for us

… leaving the Winter Tree to chuckle to herself at the wonderful mess they made of her nice smooth snow skirts.

So much wonderful excitement! But now, I think I’ll go back to sleep and wait for Spring to REALLY arrive

So much wonderful excitement! But now, I think I’ll go back to sleep and wait for Spring to REALLY arrive

The next day the path-clearing crew started removing 40 centimeters of snow from the walkway.

Mrs Widds – full steam ahead!

Mrs Widds – full steam ahead!

Coco the Community Cat arrived disgruntled that the path had not been properly cleared before she, and her very long tummy fur, had to plow through it in order to get cuddles.

I’m not freaked out. It’s just wet, and cold, and lumpy. OK, I’m freaked out ... a little bit

I’m not freaked out. It’s just wet, and cold, and lumpy. OK, I’m freaked out … a little bit

Mirabeau leapt to the rescue with warm towels and soon Coco was relaxing in one of her most favourite places  …

Mirabeau: “I’ll leave you alone to recover, shall I?” Coco: “ Well, perhaps you could stay for a little while longer?”

Mirabeau: “I’ll leave you alone to recover, shall I?”
Coco: “ Well, perhaps you could stay for a little while longer?”

 

-oOo-

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Coco the Community Cat’s Appreciation Party

When Coco’s main-person decided to visit her rellies (Aussie slang for ‘relatives’) in Australia and England for a month, she left Coco in the tender care of all her staff-persons along our end of the street.

Coco’s main-person returned a week ago, (the rellies having been thoroughly visited) and invited all the staff-persons over for wee bit of a ‘do’ on Saturday night as a way of saying thanks.

Music was danced to, nibbles were consumed, drinks were imbibed, (our esteemed hostess makes a mean blueberry martini) and holiday memorabilia shared around to be ‘ooh’ed and ahh’ed over.

A good time was had by all.

There are four main housholds involved, three of which, we discovered last night, Coco has managed to convince to feed her the choicest morsels from their tables, because, of course, she would waste away to a mere shadow of her former self it they didn’t. Perish of the starvations, even!

Mrs Widds and I, heeding Coco’s main-person’s request not to feed her, have valiantly refused to succumb to the blue-eyed bandit’s blandishments.

Which is why I felt a certain sort of moral superiority when listening to the horror stories from those who had fallen from grace:

“As soon as she hears me turn the BBQ on, she’s right there waiting for her share.” … and,  “we tap on our window to let her know we’re home.”

It appears that our specialty, cuddles and a quiet safe place to nap, is enough to keep our place on Coco’s daily dance card secure for a long time to come.

-oOo-

Mirabeau, our house mouse, who wears her heart on ... the outside, has formed an empathic bond with Coco, the Community Cat

Mirabeau, our house mouse, who wears her heart on … the outside, has formed an empathic bond with Coco, the Community Cat

-oOo-

“May I offer you a restorative cup of tea? I hear from the humans that it’s the best cure for ‘the day after’, whatever that means.”

“Erm …”  (burps delicately) “Par’n me … perhaps not at the moment.”

“Le sigh.”

Birds and Bums

These days the sun sets at around 5pm here on Widder Island, and after an intense day of writing, on novels and blog posts and assorted commentings around the interwebz, my brain was in sore need of fresh air.

The rain had temporarily stopped bucketing down so I bundled up and headed out for a brisk walk along the lane to the other side of Widder Lake, taking a brolly, just in case.

The end of the road is also a turn-around, so them’s wot are lost have the means to do an about-face without resorting to a 17-point turn. As I walked through the scraggly trees and leaf-denuded bushes between the road and the path nearer the water I could see a single car parked to one side of the turn-around. They seemed to be minding their own business so I minded mine and turned my attention to the assorted flocks of ducks, geese, and swans, swooping in from across the mountain and down onto the lake. (I assume these are late leaving for parts south or are really, really keen to head back north for the summer)

One flock, geese, I think, but the mist and the gloaming made it hard to see anything too clearly, caught my eye as they came over the ridge and started their descent … then with equal grace swirled around and rose back into the sky.

Around and around, they spiraled the length of the lake, widdershins-wise, dipping low, and then, almost without any effort at all, drifting back up again.

There were no predators around. The bald eagle clan who live on the other side of the lake were salmon fishing along the river a few kilometers away, and all the human farmers who considered the flocks ‘pests’ were snug inside their houses. This flock looked like they just wanted to soar for a while before settling down for the night.

As I watched them I wondered if they did it for the pure enjoyment of flight. Not in an anthropomorphized kind of a way, but within their own avian concepts of joy.

Eventually the rain started again. I popped my umbrella and began to wend my way home.

I did a quick scan of my surroundings, as one does when one is alone with the wild things, including a fleeting glance at the turn-around where, you might remember, a car, apparently minding its business had parked. Lo and behold, there, next to the car, shining through the darkening mist and rain I saw a perfectly naked peach-shaped bum.

I quickly redirected my fleeting glance back on the path in front of me and ambled home whilst ruminating on how the birds and the bum complimented each other in a delightfully irreverent, and dare I say, cheeky, way.

I suspect that whoever was in the car decided to take advantage of the dark and nip out for a bit of a pee. I hoped she didn’t see me. It’s nerve-wracking enough to risk one’s naked bum in the open, in the dark, to empty one’s bladder, but being observed doing so, is another matter entirely.

-oOo-

Coco the Community Cat dropped in this afternoon. She and Mirabeau oversaw my writerly endeavours with an appropriate amount of interest.

Mirabeau – “Do you think she suspects?”
Coco – “None of them suspect. Relax. All is at it should be.”

 

Summer is Done, and I am Done with Summer!

Oh my stars! It’s dusty in here!

Hi there … yeah I know, I haven’t been around for a while. Blame it on the Summer from Hades! … I am.

I am so thankful that today is the Autumn Equinox.

Seriously, this is what my year has been … 3 months of snow, 3 months of rain, 3 months of searing temperatures and no rain. Throw in assorted migraines, wildfire smoke, (which went away then came back, just to make sure we weren’t missing it) 9 months of continually battling with bronchitis, (not quite. I’m sure there were one or two days where I felt marginally OK) and I’m ready to see the back end of 2017!

I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to feel healthy.

2016 may’ve been the year of dead famous people, but 2017 is well on its way to be the Queen of WTF-uckery for this decade.

-o0o-

You ever notice the odd things you do when you’re under-the-weather?

Near the beginning of the year I treated myself to a box set of the Harry Potter books, and read them from cover to cover to cover, etc during my winter bout with the dastardly ‘chitis.

When the 30° temperatures and smoke turned up, ‘chitis used it as a perfect excuse to smack me around some more, and there I was, reaching for Harry Potter yet again, like comfort food.

I’m still in convalescent mode and I have good days, and not-so-good days where I give up trying and just stay in bed.

And here he is again, The Boy Who lived!

I’m on chapter 23 of The Half-Blood Prince, (book 6, of 7, for those who aren’t HP aficionados) so I suspect I’ll be my usual Widder-self in short order.

-o0o-

Another reason to celebrate the end of Summer is that Coco, the Community Cat has made a comeback. The very day the weather turned toward sanity, there she was a-knocking on the front door, announcing that it was cuddle season again.

Who are we to deny her cuddles?

(Coco the Community Cat is a lovely lass who lives across the way and visits (except in the heat of Summer) all the people in our lane who are bereft of feline company. She comes, she cuddles, (and sheds) and ambles off home when she’s all cuddled up 🙂 )