Monday, June 23, 2014

Mountain Getaway....

We finally got up to our cabin for a couple of nights over the weekend. It has been awhile since we've been there. We pass the huge mudslide that was on the national news a few weeks ago to get there.   It is still being monitored for more movement. Three men lost their lives in the slide. It was quite impressive, in a very sad way.

I love being where the big news of the day is new neighbors! My husband had built two birdhouses to take up to the cabin. Every year, we have at least one pair of birds nest ON the cabin. We used to have wrens, but the flycatchers have seemed to steal their spot. We have also had robins, which is a huge mess! Anyway, we are hoping these little bird mansions will replace sharing our cabin.

Before the houses were up a full day, a little flycatcher started checking out the real estate, then she began carrying sticks and twigs in. We spent a lot of time cheering her on from behind our window, through binoculars, and, for my husband, his long-lensed camera. He even took a couple of cute movies of her struggling to get  some too-big sticks in. By the time we left, it looked like she had filled it with sticks clear up to the opening.

I did not take my camera this time. I just had my sketchbook (and my iPhone, just in case a moose showed up!) So I sketched my days there. I also had taken some oil paints and a canvas I had started that I wanted to finish. I set up a place to paint outside, as it was so beautiful out. 

But I hadn't factored in the mosquitos. OR the G.I.A.N.T! bug that flew out of nowhere and attacked my chest! I jumped around and yelled a bit, thinking of Ron Weasley and the spider, then knocked it off and took a picture of it with my iPhone so I could identify the evil thing. It was a wood borer of some sort, and I was near our woodpile. I should have killed it, because it was probably a pine borer, and I was also near our one pine tree, which we have babied and protected along for many years. But it was so big, I was afraid my foot couldn't stomp the whole thing at once, and ewwwwww!

That incident convinced me that I am an inside painter, basically.

So, yes, if you have closely looked at my sketch, you see we also had a skunk visitor (thankfully, while Booker was inside) and we had a great 'Poo mystery,' which I also sketched for identification purposes. The poo, 3 piles of it, was on our upper balcony; the balcony that is also over our boathouse, so it is basically 3 stories above the ground below. The cabin is an A-frame, so something very agile could get up there by climbing the roof. The scat was not from a bird, it looked like it was mammal. So we went to the ranger station down at the lake and asked what could have climbed that steep roof and left presents for us. Their guess was about the same as ours: probably a raccoon (though we have never seen them there, they have been seen by the rangers) or a bobcat (which we have seen there.) We are kind of hoping it was a bobcat, not just because that is more interesting, but because racoons tend to revisit their 'latrine sites.' Tho' this would have to be one dare-devil raccoon to re-climb our cabin roof just to leave us more poo! I imagine a raccoon would have been more able to make such a steep climb, with little to grab onto but roof shingles.

Anyway... it was a nice weekend. The lake is full and the wildflowers are beginning to bloom. And I did get my painting done, so will post it here when I can get some photos.

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