Friday, 22 March 2013

Handsome Furs

This little fellow found the caribou hides we had stretched out in front.
He has been gnawing bits off
hiss-growling and tik-tiking at us
 before scampering off when we get too near.
I hadn't before realized how varied Pine Marten vocalizations can be.
His coat is extra glossy, perhaps because of the bones he's found in our yard.
Such a handsome fur would've brought in a few hundred dollars this year I imagine,
 but it couldn't be worth more to anyone other than him.

Here is someone else who can't help herself and is inspired to dress beautifully every day.

And here's her footwear of which I too am proud.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The toll of a cold snap

Its been a cold winter.
It hit -50 degrees Celsius first in November and that burst our min-max thermometer.
The cold kept coming.
While we were away a young wolf curled up and died in our wash tent.
We had a bale of straw in there.
 Her stomach was stuck to her ribs. I'd guess she starved, the toll of a cold snap.
She's probably not the only one. I am glad at least she had a comfortable nest.


Things only work well often enough for us to expect them to.
They give us a few easily felled and bucked trees,
a few smooth rides over the snowdrifts,
and then, try as we might to go easy on them,
the machines always break down.
More often than not something's broken.
I see that every plan involving a machine ought to have a stand in.
Here's our girls waiting patiently while the day comes undone:
Part way down the trail we find the skidoo will need a new carborator.
Maybe we can get one on e-bay.
We limp it back to the road.
Here's the stand in plan to get home:
We leave everything on the skimmer but the fresh produce
and the library book Hop on Pop (Selwyn's nightly reading).

This way of travel involves
more exercise and fresh air than we had in mind,
a picnic lunch in the sunshine in the lee of a strong wind whipping snow up into dunes.
which obliterate the trail but make for excellent sliding.
Five hours later we are heating up our little house in the setting sun.