Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Along North Lewisberry Rd.

The morning light was especially lovely this last day of November. For some reason, I was late heading off the mountain, which resulted in the morning being brighter than at the time when I usually leave. I made myself even later by stopping to take a few photos of the light playing across a field. I figured that since I was already late, there was no harm in being a bit later, and light like this doesn’t come around every day.

Some days I have to consciously decide to spend more time enjoying my surroundings. It’s so easy, and so empty, to race from one thing to another. Now that I am older, I am more inclined to somehow make a few more moments for that enjoyment. My time on earth grows shorter with each passing day, and really, if I don’t enjoy myself along the way, what’s the point? Trying to make someone else happy is a fool’s errand, whether that person be a boss or a family member. If they aren’t happy, that’s their own problem to fix, not mine.

Still, I have to remind myself to slow down. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I tend to be way too logical and way too linear. What the shortest, fastest, most efficient way to accomplish this task? That thinking leads to nothing but frustration as nothing ever operates at maximum speed or efficiency. Often, I think that faster and more efficient will lead to more “free” time to enjoy my surroundings. Over the years I’ve found that life doesn’t really work that way. There’s always some other task to do. Better to notice the morning light in those few moments when it is especially lovely than to expect it to be there when I have more time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Goodbye, 60 degrees. I’ll see you again in March or April. It’s been nice to have you around but you’ve kind of overstayed your holiday. I really don’t expect to see you for day upon day in November, especially not at the end of November.

For a very brief moment at sunrise today, the sun made an appearance. This was immediately followed by rain and a steadily dropping temperature ever since. It’s not cold enough to make snow on the mountain yet, but I’m thinking it will be in another week.

The rain this morning was enough to keep the hunters away from Roundtop. I didn’t hear any shooting or see any vehicles inching their way up the mountain. The deer, assuming they weren’t shot, are in hiding and were not in evidence anywhere this morning either. And so the dogs got their normal early morning walk by the light of my dimming headlamp. It was only a week or so ago that the morning walks still had some beginnings of the morning’s light. Now, it’s as dark as midnight again. The darkest days of the year have arrived.

These are the days when it’s nearly dark when I leave the cabin in the mornings and quite dark when I return home. The birdseed disappears daily, but I won’t get to see the birds until the weekend. I hate that. I always imagine the rarest of the rare arriving at my feeders when I can’t see them. Logically, I know this is unlikely, particularly in November, but logic isn’t the point, is it? Sometimes November can be a hard month, even when it is 60 degrees.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Odds and ends

The weather is unseasonably mild, or at least it has been over the long Thanksgiving holiday. Even on Roundtop, where the temperature is nearly always 4-5 degrees cooler than down in the towns, the temperature hovered near 60 degrees. I took advantage of it to do some more cleaning of the brush and tree tops that came down during the October snowstorm. Mostly, I’m just dragging what I can further into the woods. Most of it is too heavy to load into my car. As long as I don’t have snow on the ground, this is a project I can work on all winter.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat outside on my deck, facing the sun’s warmth, comfortable without a jacket. The woods was quiet, except for when a blue jay or the crows split the silence. I doubt I’ll be able to do that again until spring, at least not without a jacket. Since the snowstorm, the weather has been unseasonably mild, and I know I’ve thought a few times that “today” would be the last time only to find out there was another “today” or two left in the season.

Today in Pennsylvania is the first day of rifle deer season. A couple of trucks edged slowly up the mountain past my cabin just before 6 a.m., setting the dogs to barking though even on a good day they don’t need much of an excuse to start that. Later on, when it was light, I heard a few shots, though none were close enough to be the hunters I saw.

I did see a total of 8 deer this morning, none with antlers. Three of them were the doe and twins that hang out around my cabin. The others were in two groups, racing across the road in front of me, no doubt spooked out of their beds by the unfamiliar presence of hunters. It was a reminder to me that the deer will now be on the move to avoid hunters and can appear anywhere and at anytime as a result.

While I was cleaning up the brush this weekend, I started noticing all the fungus on other pieces of downed branches. November is a good time to see fungus—the leaves are down and no underbrush obscures the view. And, truth be told, there aren’t many exciting birds left around the mountain or any wildflowers, so November is the time when there’s not too much else to look at either. Still, I like the textures and patterns on them so I don’t mind if they aren’t as exciting as a wild geranium or an American redstart.

The first photo is, I believe, the turkey tail fungus, though it’s still small compared to other turkey tail fungus I’ve seen. The colored bands that mark the growth of the fungus are supposed to resemble the bands on a turkey’s tail. The orange fungus might be sulfur shelf, also known as chicken of the woods, but I’m not sure because it’s still much smaller than others I’ve seen, at least so far. I’ll have to keep an eye on them and see if they grow.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Milkweed pod
Chilly, rainy, gray November day.

Dog and Baby Dog curl up by the fire.

I hold steaming coffee laced with hot chocolate.

Dog and Baby Dog seemed to appreciate the rubdown they both got after their morning walks more than the wet and raw walk itself.

The rain didn’t stop the half-tame doe and her twins from making an appearance this morning. I first saw her eyes glint in my headlamp and wondered what animal it was. When I got a bit closer, I could just make out her silhouette in the gloom. She didn’t mind my headlamp or our passing. She is used to all of us and is often the recipient of a few withered apples that come my way here and there. I often find their hoofprints in my driveway, sometimes right up to the front door or beside the chicken pen. What must the girls think when three big, four-legged creatures amble by their pen?

November is a time of settling-in, of slowing down. The days are short, the evenings long. More time is spent inside than out. The woods are quieter; few birds sing other than the irrepressible cardinals. Perhaps the bluebird will sing a brief morning song, just a few notes really, at the coming of the dawn.

By late February or early March, the itch for warmer weather and longer days will take hold of me again, but for now the slowing down, the quieter days, are a welcome counterpoint to the long and busy days of summer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snow-damaged forest

Over the weekend, I tried to take a few photos that show what the damage left by “Snowtober” looks like around my cabin. I’m not really happy with any of the photos but these will have to do. The real problem, I suspect, is that when I look around I can see the tops of trees and large branches on the ground everywhere, but when I take a photo you can only see a small portion of my view.

And it’s not just around my own cabin that’s damaged. Literally everywhere I go, I can see pale wood exposed and branches down where trees are broken. I stood in one spot at the top of the mountain yesterday and soon counted 16 trees with visible breaks. It’s going to take a long time before the forest looks “normal” again.

Small birds and animals will likely appreciate the sudden appearance of more cover. The downside of that is that the predators are probably going to be less successful in their hunting for a while. They aren’t going to have clear views and they’re going to have a lot of cover to search through to find anything uncautious enough to allow them to approach close enough for a kill.

Eventually, the branches will rot and create more soil for the woods. Rotting takes a long time, though. Perhaps 15 years ago, I was forced to cut down a large oak tree that loomed ominously over the cabin. I’d avoided taking down that beautiful, 125-year old tree for a few years, but a winter blizzard where the oak leaned precipitously during the gale-force winds that accompanied the storm finally convinced me I had no choice. The stump from that oak is still standing, if no longer as dense as it was originally.

The smaller branches and treetops from this storm will likely rot faster than a huge stump, but it still won’t be fast. I’ll be looking at this damage for years.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Mostly red oak, with one tulip poplar and one unidentified leaf
This morning I had to chip ice out of the chickens’ water. The pieces were a little more than .25 inch thick, a sign the temperature dropped below freezing early in the night and not just in the hour or so before dawn. For me this means two things.

The first is that I will soon have to bring one of the chicken waterers inside at night. I switch the waterers every 12 hours during the winter, once in the morning and again in the evening, so one is always or nearly always free of ice. I bring the frozen waterer into the house and put it upside down in my bathtub. After an hour or two or three, the ice melts enough for it to fall out of the drinking area, clattering into the tub. When that happens I know it will be ready to put back out with the chickens the next time the water needs switched.

The second thing the overnight ice means is that it will soon be time for the ski area to start blowing snow in readiness for the start of the new ski season. The snow blowing probably won’t start until after Thanksgiving this year. After a quick look at the forecast, the temperature won’t stay this low long enough for a decent run at snow-blowing. And it might rain a bit next week, another negative. But it won’t be long, I’m sure of that.

Yesterday when I got home I discovered a huge limb or the top of a red oak tree blocking one side of my driveway. Somehow and luckily the limb missed the cabin and the chicken pen, by a distance of no more than 6 and 4 ft., respectively. The limb was what I hope is the last casualty of “Snowtober.” Apparently, it clung precariously to the red oak after the storm and yesterday 25+ mph wind was the last straw.

I could barely drag the limb from the driveway, it was that heavy. And it’s not a lot of fun, either, trying to drag a 10-12 ft. tree top far enough into the woods on a cold, dark and windy November evening so that I can park the car. Truthfully, if that limb had hit a person (for person, read “me”) it would have killed them. If it had hit the cabin, I’m sure it would have broken the window and very possibly damaged the roof. The chain link fence around the chickens may or may not have survived. When I got home the chickens were calm enough, indication that the limb likely fell earlier enough in the day for them to have calmed down already. I’m not expecting any eggs today, though. That’s certainly the kind of event that can stop them from laying for a day or two.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


November has reached the point where it feels and looks quintessentially Novemberian to me. The sky is grey and heavy. The leaves have fallen. The air is chilly, if only just beginning to verge on raw. The day lacks only, perhaps, that “wintry mix” of precipitation to make it not only quintessential but a stereotypically quintessential November day.

Notice that it’s more than leaves on the ground underneath these apple trees. The ground is littered with yellow apples, probably Yellow Delicious apples. It’s enough to make my heart sink. My farmer neighbor has lost a lot of his crop, and selfishly, that probably also means the ones he has will sell out quickly, depriving me of extending the enjoyment of that most perfect of all apples.

I have eaten Golden or Yellow Delicious apples from other areas. They aren’t half as good as local Pennsylvania Yellow Delicious. A good Pennsylvania Yellow Delicious apple is large and has a wonderful “sandy” texture to the fruit, in addition to the wonderful flavor. I don’t know if it’s the soil here that’s just perfect for them or if they lose something in the shipping from the west.

In any event, readers will likely notice more of my photos are not taken on the mountain right now. When I leave the cabin in the mornings, the light is darker than I like for photos. Soon, too soon, the decreasing daylight will force me to take all my blog photos for a week over the weekend. That’s one thing about November I don’t like. So I am extending my own photo season by taking photos out and away from the cover of the forest. I’m at that point in the season where the few minutes it takes me to reach the orchard on my drive down into the city, is enough to give me slightly better light, even on a quintessentially gray November morning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eastern bluebird

My photo today was not taken today.  Yesterday Blogger was being difficult and wouldn't let me upload any photos.  Today my morning walk with Dog around Roundtop was rainy and foggy.  In fact, it was so foggy that at one point I took a wrong turn.  Even with my headlamp I couldn't see where I was going and almost ended up walking into some bushes. You know it's pretty bad when I can lose my way within yards of the cabin.  Even Dog wondered what I was doing.

For early November the weather is downright balmy and that is bringing out the nighttime visitors.  Both raccoon and oppossum have paid 2 a.m. visits this week.  Baby Dog can't sleep through any visits and barks wildly so I am forced to get up, go to the door and look out.  That's all it really takes to chase off a visitor.  Baby Dog believes this is my job, perhaps my only job, around the cabin.  Her own fierce barking isn't good enough, though the visitor is usually gone by the time I reach the door.  She simply will not stop barking until I've gone to the door and assured that we are all safe from attack.  She has me well trained.

If the visitor returns, and if it's a raccoon it usually does, I have to repeat this procedure every time.  Last night the raccoon returned at least 3-4 times between 2-3 a.m., though by the second or third trip the last of my bird seed had disappeared and there was nothing for it to eat.

The raccoon is fattening itself up for what passes for raccoon hibernation during the winter.  They don't go into anything like a full hibernation but they do hole up for extended periods of bad weather.  That can't come soon enough for me.  I sure could use a full night's sleep without any interruptions.

Monday, November 14, 2011

One thing about “Snowtober” that can be turned into a positive is that no one who uses wood for heating should run low this year. I’m still cleaning up the mess from that storm. Even the areas that I’ve cleared still look pretty bad. Removing the downed branches from my driveway and pathways has only created hedge-high brush piles that look nearly as bad.

This weekend, the tree guy came and took down a broken limb and cleaned the branches off my cabin roof. I also discovered another tree, this one leaning ominously over the cable for my internet, and he agreed to take that one down another time.

The rest of my own winter preparations are proceeding, if ever slower than I would wish. The chickens are now moved partially into their winter quarters, which is under my raised cabin. They get less daylight in there, but they are somewhat protected from bad weather, as well. I still would like to move them a bit further under the cabin and will need to cover part of the pen with my winter tarp, but at least progress was made.

The hours of daylight diminish ever faster now, which is part of the reason why I never seem to make as much progress as I’d like. The forecast was for a sunny Sunday afternoon, so I waited to start my outside work until then, forgetting, perhaps conveniently, that darkness comes shortly after 5 p.m. now. So that pleasant afternoon is a lot shorter than it was just a week or so ago.

The leaves are nearly all on the ground. On Saturday I broomed off the front and back decks. This morning, both looked as bad as they did before. I haven’t had much rain since leaves began to fall in earnest, so they are all still fluttery and dry. A little breeze blows them onto the deck time and time again. Until I get another soaking rain or two, the leaves will continued to clutter the decks and follow me inside.

Yesterday I found a white oak leaf in my kitchen sink, another on my bed and yet a third in the bathroom. They are like puppies, always on my heels and suddenly appearing in very odd spots.

Friday, November 11, 2011


 I couldn't decide which one I liked the best, so I'm posting four of them.
This is the scene I came home to last evening on my way up to the cabin. Sunset (or sunrise) reflected over water has to the best, don't you think?

Here where I live, my best sunrise and sunset photos always seem to be taken in November and early December.  At first, I thought that was because the times I was out and about corresponded to the times of sunrise and sunset.  That's not it.  One major reason why these are the best is because of  the position of the sun on the horizon at sunrise and sunset.  In summer and later in winter, the sunsets and sunrises don't reflect into the pond so much because they are further south or further north.  Even that doesn't appear to be the entire story, though.  Summer sunsets and rises are often hazy with humidy and so the sky isn't as crisp as it appears this time of year.

So here's another reason to enjoy November.  It's hard to argue with a sunset like this one!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Full moon rising

November’s full moon is my favorite. Oh, I know that most people would say the Harvest Moon of October is their favorite. That’s the one full moon everyone seems to know about. There’s this whole romantic notion surrounding the Harvest moon—walks among falling leaves and the like. But for me November’s full moon is my favorite. October’s full moon comes too early in the fall for me to take much benefit from it.

November marks the first time since May or so that enough leaves are down for the moon’s glow to penetrate into the forest around my cabin. Last night the sky was so clear and the moon so bright that I could see my shadow at 10 p.m. Dog and I walked in the woods, still balmy from the day’s warmth, without the need for a flashlight.

I saw the doe first, as I am taller than Dog. She stood by herself, without the twins, just off the lane. Her head was up, ears forward, as still as a tree. We walked ever closer, and soon Dog caught her scent and then saw her himself. He stood on his hind legs to get a better view, no mean feat for his age. That made her twitch her tail and start to move deeper into the woods, soon disappearing into the tangle of brush and understory.

I saw the doe after he couldn’t any longer. She stood, thinking she was hidden, behind a boulder, peering at us. I ignored her. Dog was less inclined to call the event over and done with, his nose to the ground trying to find where she’d gone. In the distance a few of the Canada geese honked, took flight long enough to circle around the mountain top and then land again. I could hear them splash down in the water, the sound no longer muted by the presence of leaves.

It’s a good feeling to be able to see and hear across a wider distance again. I’m glad summer is over. November’s full moon is my favorite.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Small and sneaky

American coot
This small and sneaky American coot was spotted this past weekend while I was taking advantage of the hour longer weekend created by the change back to standard time.  I saw 6 of them, 3 each in two different places, though I'm pretty certain they weren't the same 3.  Coots are interesting birds. They aren't ducks; their feet are lobed not webbed.  They don't fly very well and really have to work hard to get airborne, often running on the water to get started.

Here in Pennsylvania they aren't hunted and are considered inedible.  In a handful of states, hunting them is considered sport and the birds are heavily hunted, though the meat still isn't eaten.  I read one report that indicated about 720,000 were killed for sport in a recent year, especially in the south.  I come from a family of hunters and hunted myself when I was younger.  I've never understood the idea of killing something you didn't (or couldn't) eat.

I saw two of the coots move into the sticks you can see in the background of this photo and walk out of the water, balancing just above the water line.  Coots are related to moorhens and even remind me a bit of the southern waterbird, the jacana, when they are out of the water.  I see them often enough in open water, but they seem to especially like areas where they can hide in bushes and shrubs along the the edge of the water.  They aren't glamorous by any means, but they are still a cool bird to see and watch. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Changing for the seasons

The color change this autumn seems more variable than is typical. By that I mean that I can still find spots where the leaves are green and haven’t changed at all. In other spots a lot of the leaves are down and the trees completely bare. And yet on other trees the colors have faded but the leaves still hang on. Some variability is always present; this year it simply feels to me as though there’s more of it than usual.

Take today’s photo, for example. I took the photo on Sunday, but the overall impression of fall barely registers in it. The dominant colors are the green of the spruce tree and the paler green tree in front of it. Yes, you can see leaves littering the lane, but the main impression is still greenish. And yet just a few feet away the trees were mostly bare, with that vaguely spooky look twisted branches have in winter.

Migration is largely over for the season, as it should be. Oh, yes, the rough-legged hawks and golden eagles will still fly, but the songbirds are gone—except for the newly arrived northern robins, who have already migrated for a thousand miles or so and seem to think they have now arrived in the south. They have displaced the local robins, who headed off a month ago, feeling that same need to travel to warmer climes as the northern robins.

For them the difference is one of perspective, I think. Perhaps both feel the need to travel south by a thousand miles or so, no matter where that drops them off. For the local robins that puts them in Georgia or northern Florida. For the Canadian robins, that same 1000 miles or so puts them in my woods. Many will stay through the winter, often flocking up with their cousins the bluebirds, seeking out puddles of open water or soft ground.

I am back to my normal pre-winter preparation pace, after the shock of suddenly dealing with a large, early-season snow. Although the chicken pen is mostly moved to its winter location, I still need to do more with it, and I will, just not this week. The fallen leaves are now ankle deep on my decks. The front deck was just broomed off on Sunday but today looks as bad as the back deck, which I didn’t touch this weekend. Fighting off hordes of forest leaves is a battle that won’t end for weeks yet.

My snow shovel is still in my car, put there when I had to dig out from my parking spot. I think I’ll just leave it there now until March is over. No need to remove it at this point, when I’ll only need to put it back into the car within a few weeks anyway. Some winter preparation jobs just don’t need to be repeated, even though winter hasn’t arrived yet. There’s enough to do yet to get ready for winter without doing it over again.

Monday, November 07, 2011

No drama

My weekend wish for no weather drama was granted. The weather was calm in every aspect, which gave me the chance to more fully observe the season than is possible in the middle of a snowstorm with no electricity. Today’s photo looks to me like a quintessential November evening—thick clouds in an overcast sky, geese in the forefront and the remnants of fall’s brilliant autumn display turning to duller, deeper shades in the background.

Over the weekend I was raided by raccoons again for the first time since early spring. In the few moments it took me to stagger our of bed in the middle of the night, awakened by Baby Dog’s frantic barking, one very large raccoon managed to destroy not one but both of the new bird feeders I’d gotten for this year. It’s because of raccoon predation that I virtually never have a bird feeder that lasts more than a single season. It’s not common to lose both of them within a few weeks of setting them out, though. One of them might be repairable or at least usable. The second has disappeared entirely. The next night an opossum showed up, no doubt disappointed that nothing was left to raid.

I always have resident Canada geese here on Roundtop, but ever since September, the number of them that appear to be residents is increasing. Roughly 17 live here full time. That’s 3 pairs of parents and the surviving number of goslings from the spring. In October that number grew to 36, and on Friday evening I counted 75. I don’t know where the other ones are coming from or why they suddenly prefer Roundtop’s ponds to wherever they came from. But they are here now and will likely remain until the pond is iced in.

The nights are cold enough now that skim ice forms in puddles or the chicken water, though the ice still disappears pretty quickly in the morning. So far, I haven’t seen ice on any of the ponds yet. I think even a slight breeze ripples the ponds too much for them to freeze when the temperature is only a few degrees below freezing.

For me, the quiet weather this past weekend was much appreciated. I have long understood that living where I do, as I do, puts me a lot closer to the vagaries of poor weather than more urban dwellers experience.  For the most part, I enjoy that closeness even when the weather is poor.  Having a town or a city shield someone from nature just makes it easier for them to feel that nature is something "other," something apart from their everyday life.  I never want to feel that way.  Our earth needs more understanding about its mechanics, not less.  That said, for once I was glad the weekend didn't provide me with anything extreme to experience. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Early November sunset

I am hoping this weekend doesn't bring any drama--no snowstorms, no power outages, no half of a tree falling onto my roof.  I'd like a nice, quiet weekend with decent weather and perhaps a few hours of birding. Maybe an extra hour of sleep, too.

Do you think that might be arranged?   I sure hope so.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Clean-up continues

 Clean-up from the October snowstorm continues everywhere in my area, though today the only snow left is the plowed piles. In fact, now that the snow is gone, it’s even easier to see the damage left in its wake. I am finding that when I take a photo of the damage, it doesn’t show very much. One photo of a damaged tree or even a few trees doesn’t give any sense of the extent. I can say that this is worse than any ice storm I’ve had—and I’ve had quite a few of those.

I suppose I could look on the bright side and say that all those downed clumps of branches should provide nice cover for the smaller woodland birds and animals. And the deer won’t have to wait for the acorns to fall off the trees to get a nice meal. The more open forest will get more sun next summer and that might alter, at least somewhat, which plants and flowers will flourish over the next several years.
The forest is a constantly changing entity, even when the weather is calmer than it’s been this year. One year is drier or wetter, the next hotter or cooler. A couple of years of hotter than average weather or wetter weather is all it takes to favor slightly different plants within the forest. And that slight alteration can then affect breeding success or populations of the birds and small animals. This time around it’s going to be several years of a more open forest as a result of this storm. It’s always something.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Damage from the snow

Downed red oak
Who would have thought that 10 inches of snow could disappear so quickly? Oh, it’s not all gone, but it’s mostly gone. Only patches remain. And the debris.

I have been picking up what feels like truckloads of broken trees, downed branches, downed twigs and leaves. The forest will not look as it did before the storm for a long time, I am sure of that. Not all of the damage is on the ground, either. Many, many trees are broken, with the branches still partially attached to the trees, sometimes hanging precariously to the trunk. Now, when I look out my north window, I see an open vista, where before I saw a tangle of trunks and branches. And what will happen over the next year or so? Likely, some of the trees will become infested with something and end up not surviving over the long term.

I couldn’t help but notice the species of the branches I am picking up. Two of them were not a surprise to me, though the third was until I thought about it a bit. Tulip poplar is one of the species I am picking up a lot. This one is not a surprise. Tulip poplar is a soft wood, a tree with notoriously shallow roots. And it has large leaves, which makes it even more likely to break when those leaves are covered with wet snow. The second unsurprising species is the American beech. I have several in my front forest. They are a beautiful, gray-barked tree, notorious for being “dirty” as I’ve heard them described by people who have them on their properties. Dirty simply means that the trees drop their lower branches regularly.

The third species of tree I’m seeing during this clean-up (and the one pictured in my photo today) is the one that surprised me. It’s the red oak, a lovely hardwood tree, perhaps second only to its cousin the white oak in size and stateliness. So why was such a strong and hardy tree one of the ones to break the most?

Though both are hardwoods, white oaks have a stronger and harder wood than the faster-growing red oak. The ship “old Ironsides” was made of white oak, which is waterproof. Red oaks are less dense and not waterproof and the wood is used in furniture or other primarily indoor uses. White oak wood is often used in fence posts or for other things that will be used outdoors. Red oaks produce acorns every other year, while white oaks produce them every year. This year the red oaks are heavy with acorns.

I believe the lesser density of the red oak wood, combined with it being the year for lots of acorns, were the main factors in causing more damage to this species than to the white oaks or even hickories around the mountain. How this damage will affect the diversity and even the composition of the forest itself over the next years has yet to be determined, but is something I will keep an eye on.