Farewell to 2013 in the Northwoods

Northwoods Journal

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another first for us – this is the first time in 12 years that we have been here on a day in December!

With no hunting to go out for, Mark got to sleep in a little.  I got up with the dogs just after 7:30.  The temperature was just around freezing when I put the bird food out.  We had a slow, quiet morning.  No big breakfast today, just oatmeal.  It was warm enough with just the two radiant heaters to let the wood burner go out.

There have been four black squirrels driving Ruby crazy!  I kept trying to get a photo of them, but she made it difficult because she would start going ballistic every time one ventured into the yard.

 

Ruby watching for squirrels.

Ruby watching for squirrels.

 

Ruby on alert. (I took this from outside.)

Ruby on alert. (I took this from outside.)

Ruby's nemesis.

Ruby’s nemesis.

Finally some new visitors at the feeders – a small flock of goldfinches and a pair of downy woodpeckers, along with all the regulars.

Downy woodpecker.

Downy woodpecker.

Goldfinches.

Goldfinches.

Since rifle season is over (except for black powder) Mark said it was safe to take the dogs for a longer walk, so we went back to Sportmens.  A fine snow was falling the entire time we walked and the two track was very slick.  Had we been wearing skis, the dogs could have pulled us right along.  As it was, we both nearly fell a couple of times!  Mark suggested that maybe we should just stay through Christmas and not go home until after the New Year.  Of course, that would get no argument from me, but there is that pesky little detail called having-to-make-a-living that has to be considered.

One last snowy hike.

One last snowy hike.

When we got back from our hike, we had to think about packing up.  Mark was able to clean the ashes out of the wood burner and set it up for the next time we come up.  I took down the harvest tree and Mark took down the Christmas lights.  Finally the last of the dishes were washed, the dirty laundry all packed up and sandwiches made for our ride home.  There’s always so many little details to see to as we put everything away.  My heart always breaks a little when I bring in the birdfeeders.  I can’t believe our adventures are over for 2013!  It seems like only yesterday we were coming up for the first time this year.

We drove through some fine snow, rain and haze on the way home.  We had been dreading the traffic but surprisingly it wasn’t bad at all and we made good time.  Memories of the northwoods will keep me going as I face the mountain of dirty laundry and mail!

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