Lots has been happening in our Little House in the Woods. I seem to forget, at times, that we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. Here are a few highlights:
At 1 a.m. on Sunday morning a noise startled me from sleep. Bang, bang, bang! What the heck? Sleep felt so lovely…but it sounded like Mischief in the Woods. I had to get up and investigate. Sure enough, our wiley & quilly porcupine friend had decided to eat our front porch. He was gnawing the steps with gusto. I shouted. He glanced up to say hello. Barry (from bed) suggested shining a flashlight in his eyes. He blinked. I sighed–heart pounding fiercely–and decided to open the front door and chase him away. He raised his quilly butt and shook it threateningly, but duly waddled away. Barry, good man, roused from bed and sprayed the chewed wooden steps with Wasp and Hornet Spray, to provide bad taste should our marauder visit again. The next day he slopped paint on the errant boards. Don’t come again, ye porkie.
During the weekend Barry, Captain John and two other masked crew went a’fishing in Lake Superior for the deep-water lake trout. The previous night the temperature hovered just above freezing. We held our breath all night long, praying for the garden tomatoes and peppers. They survived. The fishing crew wore long underwear, winter pants and coat, warm hats. The wiley lake trout decided to bite. Barry decided to reward the crew with treats: crunchy grasshoppers! Our darling daughter had sent him salt & lemon grasshoppers with his birthday package…yum! Three of the four crew members munched. Not too bad, they said. (I am abstaining. No crunchy grasshoppers for me, although Barry cajoles daily.)
Barry faithfully cleaned his lake trout and tossed the fishy bags outside to dispose later. He properly disposed of fish head and guts, mind you. The following night…guess who decided to steal our garbage? Yes, our neighborhood bear, we’re pretty sure. Who else has the prowess to carry a stinky full garbage bag into the woods, just to munch on some yellow fish-stained grocery bags? We played search-and-find looking for that garbage bag. It was located quite easily behind the oak tree, heading down the ravine. I had heard a THUMP! in the middle of the night and mumbled, “The porcupine is back” to Barry. He checked the front porch, but no porkie. It must have been the bear stealing the garbage.
Before you suggest we call the authorities to have the bear relocated–which may be a good idea at some point–I think we’re just going to quit baiting the bear with fish. Good idea, right?
Other news: our wood-hauling 1949 Studebaker pickup truck erupted smoke out of the muffler last week. We had it towed to the mechanic in town for repair. Luckily, it’s a minor repair. And to Barry’s delight the mechanic is sprucing up a half dozen other things on the truck, thereby saving him precious time and effort.
You might think that stopped our wood cutting and splitting, but no. We continued to cut and split, stacking the logs out by the wood pile until the truck returns.
Then–just to keep things lively around here–the chainsaw died. (It’s only about 30 years old.) We headed up to the nearest Husqvarna dealer 60 miles away and bought ourselves a brand new $900 saw.
The temperature soared to 90 degrees yesterday so we haven’t had time to resume our wood cutting fun, but we’re heading outside to give the new chainsaw its test drive very soon before the temperature elevates again. No winter coats today!
Just another exciting day in the woods…