Sunday, March 9, 2014

sheep and coyotes, which is code for weather and weather and more weather and keeping track of coyotes and sheep

Monday morning was cold.

My favorite thermometer is from a place in Missouri where
I worked for a while when I should have been going to school
earning a diploma so I could get a job.
All I got was this thermometer.

By Tuesday afternoon, things were better.

A near 50-degree difference: worthy of contemplation.

Wednesday morning we slid back, and I thanked God—or whoever is in charge of these things—for a furry little heater named Elliott.

At the National Suffolk Sheep Association I entered registration
data on Suffolk sheep. I was an office temp working for Kelly Girl.
They are the ones who got me involved with the sheep.
I should have been going to journalism school.

But still, all week I have been walking on the river. I am not the only one.

How many coyotes are there?

Going down the riverbank in snowshoes and snowsuit in snow anywhere from one to three feet deep is pretty easy and kind of fun. Coming back up is a different story.

But coyotes seem to have no problem; they leave such a neat trail.

There are so many stories. Or maybe it is just one with variations. Going down, coming up, going up, coming down.

What I see here is two coyotes
bounding side by side
down the river.

I have yet to see open water, though I hear it gurgling here and there underneath the ice and the snow. It sounds like a bathtub draining behind closed doors.

Sometimes I sit, lean back, look at the sky.

There are tracks there, too.

Thursday the water line froze, the tricky part that runs snuggled up against the cold west wall of the crawlspace, and while I coaxed it to warmth with a heat gun I lightly cursed the plumbers who had put it there rather than, well, maybe somewhere else? Away from the coldest wall? Elliott was delighted that the big hole in the cabin floor was open, and after it closed, he pawed at the rug covering where it had been.

All week, I have been watching the moon waxing halfway to full. On starry nights it sits in the upper left corner of the window as I drift off to sleep and later slips down across the window falling into trees. Starry nights let the cold in; snowy nights keep it out. But then sunny days are warmer than snowy days. Or so it seems.

This can’t be my thermometer. Must be that sister sheep,
somewheres out there in California.
Hmmm. Just 50 degrees warmer than here.
Worthy of contemplation.