We spent the past couple of days up at our mountain cabin. It is lovely there in the winter, but we are already seeing signs of spring approaching, even in the high country. Booker was thrilled to sight several chipmunks and a squirrel already out of hibernation. He dreams of cornering one someday, but I doubt that will happen (and certainly hope it won't!)
As I grabbed what we would need for the few days there, I left behind my camera and my knitting. Fortunately, my husband had his camera, and I had a very good book. We mostly sat in front of the fire and relaxed, which is what you are supposed to do there in the winter.
After we filled the bird feeder, a scold of Steller's Jays, probably about a dozen of them, came to try to figure out how to get the seeds from the feeder, which is made for smaller birds. They spent all morning working at it, and were finally chased away by some smaller red-wing blackbirds. The jays are not uncommon at the cabin feeder, though there are usually just a pair or two there with the more common chickadees and nuthatches. The smaller birds usually drop enough seeds to the ground below the feeder for the few Jays, but there were so many Jays there today, the smaller birds couldn't get to the feeder, so the Jays had to fend for themselves. (I put a Steller's Jay in the lower border of my Winter tapestry.)
While we were watching the jays, a coyote came to the end of the driveway. Booker 'marks' each end of the circular drive as soon as we get to the cabin, letting all who might care know that he is there. This coyote wanted to let Booker know, in no uncertain terms, that she did not care that he was there; this was her territory. She marked on top of his 'message,' then kicked it about a bit before leaving. Booker watched all this from inside the window, and did not even bark at her, as he would have done at another dog. Sometimes he seems to know when it is best to just let it be.
It is so good to have time away. And then it is so good to come back to the tasks and the work that await us back at home. It was lovely to be in the winter again, and to hunker down in front of a blazing fire with a hot cup of tea and a good book, with nothing more to be done. A quite impressive winter squall was building as we left the mountain. But it was also good to see the line of daffodils brightly blooming in our front yard as we returned home to the valley, and to go out with just a vest on over my long-sleeved tee.