Friday, January 30, 2009

Gray squirrel on a gray day

It’s a gray and overcast morning here on the mountain, so a photo of a gray squirrel seems appropriately monochromatic. This one is about to leap onto my bird feeders, scattering birds and seed in all directions. They’re such rascals. Despite it all, I enjoy their antics, even while I’m gritting my teeth.

Here at my cabin, I am still iced in. My car is parked a ways down the mountain, not quite a quarter mile away. I have spread going on 50lbs of ice melt, salt, anti-skid and various other things over the glacier that is my driveway, to so far little positive effect.

Here where I am, the trees prevent the sun from gaining much headway against the ice. Tree shadows fall across the driveway, moving as the sun traverses the sky, warming a spot only briefly before another tree shadow hits it. Since the temperature hasn’t yet gone above freezing, I am not getting any melting from the air temperature. It’s only where the sun’s rays can strike a spot for most of the day that I’ve seen any melting at all. None of those spots are in my driveway.

Walking up to the cabin from the car isn’t something I mind overmuch. For most trips, the walk is enjoyable. It’s only when I’m lugging groceries or bags of dog food or something like that when it is difficult. Mostly, it is a pleasant coda to a day spent working in the city. A walk up the mountain to the cabin is the time when those hours fall away, and I begin to reconnect with and again feel a part of the natural world around me.


Kallen305 said...

I will cross my fingers for you for 40 degree weather. My driveway has been ice for the past week now and I too put 50lbs of salt on there yesterday. Some of it is now melting.

I can't even imagine carrying bags of groceries long distance with the snow, ice and all of the other perils that come with walkers and winter.

Cathy said...

Maybe you should get one those cheap plastic kid's sled. Just put the stuff on the sled and haul it up.

phylliso said...

You`ve brought back memories of tying bags of groceries to our sled & trudging up the hill with them.
Now there is a road to our lane to our house.phylliso

Anonymous said...

Oh those squirrel! It's nice that you don't mind when they attack your feeders, I hate it! Maybe you can capture a ton of gray squirrels and attach them to a dog sled to help you up that hill! I hope your ice melts soon!

Carolyn H said...

Kallen: I've given up on my driveway. All I do is toss various ice-melting things onto it, and nothing happens.

Cathy and phylliso: I thought about one of those sleds, but I don't think it would pull too well up the lane. Too bad. It seems like it should work.

letspaintnature: now there's a visual! 100 squirrels hitched to a sled,pulling my groceries up the mountain.

Carolyn H.