The Homestone

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The first week of the new year

Windy today and cold!! Hurricane force winds were predicted just northwest of us on Haida Gwaii ( The Queen Charlotte Islands). We are tucked in safe and warm and happily at work with the wood furnace cranked. Constantly stuffing more wood in the kitchen stove too, keeping the kettle on the whistle. The animals have all been tended to, David generally feeds the sheep and the fires while I tend to the chickens and water the critters.

Our two dear dogs love to accompany us on our rounds. Jenny the collie is especially fascinated - she loves the sheep of course and feels that all the animals are her personal responsibility. Kali, the little one, always comes with me when I'm looking after the chickens. She and one of the hens had a good visit today when the hen slipped past me and got loose in the greenhouse. David is finishing rings today for shipping on Friday. Shipping means a trip into town - it's a perilous journey on icy logging roads and one we make only a few times a month during the winter months. It also means getting supplies in for the next few weeks and once we get this close to 'town day' we are getting awfully low on things like fresh produce and milk. It's biscuits and beans for lunch today :)

Arriving safely home from town is always the best part of the trip. It's a full days journey. Preparation for the trip is intense too. We pack extra winter clothes, blankets, tools, anything we might need in the event of a breakdown on that long, cold, seldom travelled road.

But, another day at home before our town trip. Another quiet day on the meadow coming up.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

January 1st, 2006

We are the only two human beings for miles around. It should have been a quiet new year's day on the meadow but instead we had a steady stream of welcome visitors. Here we are on this new years day and there arrives on the meadow not one, but two moose !! 'Our' two moose... A very welcome sight!! About 2 months ago, a cowboy friend from down the way had told us that a hunter had shot a moose about 3 miles from our place. We were sure it was one of our 'resident' moose because since then we had seen only one of them. Then, there they were this morning - the two of them, looking healthy, and happlily munching on willow bushes at the edge of the meadow. Yipee!! Not 10 minutes later we watched our 'resident' coyote wander out into the field pouncing on field mice as he likes to do, nearly every day in the winter . . . then, his partner showed up at the edge of the meadow!! We haven't seen the two of them together before! We had seen the one coyote calling and answering and we've heard them howling many a night but this was a rare sight. The two horses that are sharing the place with us this winter like to play games with the wildlife ~ they are quite comical. We had two ravens visit today as well, first one then the other landed in the middle of the meadow and proceeded to take long and luxurious baths in the snow. Just like chickens taking a dust bath. One of them spent a great deal of time over with the horses, bathing close by and conversing, we're sure. We feel so blessed by the company of these birds and animals . . . and what a magical start to the new year.