Last week, the backyard weather station reported 55.3 degrees. Yesterday, it showed a temperataure of 5.3 degrees; a 50 degree drop, a cold snap.
Given the recent temperatures, the crew at Elk just couldn’t keep themselves from making snow. The familiar glow of snow plumes over lit trails appeared on the horizon this week.
Awakening to the sound of a stiff wind, but seeing no branches moving, opening the back door revealed sharp, still, cold air – not even a breeze – confirming that the sound, indeed was not from wind, or a far-away jet plane, but from the battery of hardworking snow guns.
Everyone seems to be gearing up for the winter; cold and extra hungry meanwhile. A friend noticed and admired the extra big wool socks I was wearing, then showed his recent purchase of a new pair of muck boots, and big wool socks to go with them. Mostly everyone has abandoned baseball caps for stout, warm toques that cover their ears.
Though eating more than usual, the recent cold has melted a couple of pounds off of me. Given the fridgid temperatures, the long anticipated winter coat delivered yesterday just doesn’t look warm enough as it did in the photos. The dog doesn’t dawdle much when taking care of business in this cold, and runs quickly back to the warmth of the house.
Fairly thorough fall cleaning of the house before the cold snap revealed no evidence of mouse activity. Last week a visitor chirped “OH! You have a mouse!” noting the little fellow as he scurried across the floor; visual confirmation that my gap sealing and house cleaning had been ineffective.
Wishing that he would just stay out of my space, reluctantly, I baited a mouse trap with peanut butter to catch the perpetrator, set the trap out and waited. Checking the trap a few hours later, I found it unsprung, set just as I had left it, with no trace of peanut butter remaining.
Adding insult to poaching bait without springing the trap, I returned home that evening to find the mouse commiserating over the cold, snuggling for warmth with my faithful Labrador! Both of them assumed a somewhat sheepish demeanor as the mouse lapped my shoes a couple of times before disappearing into safety under the closet door.
Twice yesterday I had to re-pack the trash bags left outside for pickup. Mr. Crow pecked through the plastic, and decided to breakfast on whatever he could find. Later, I saw him flying proudly through the yard, a booty of uncooked bacon in his craw, off to gloat the prize to his murder.
It’s warmer today. Temps have moderated into the thirties. I’m going to buy some traps and peppermint oil to dissuade Mr. Mouse and his family from trespassing. I’ll leave the trash out a bit later in the day so Mr. Crow won’t be tempted to an easy meal. I’ll try on my new warm coat, and see if it needs a layer under it for very cold days.
Elk’s season will begin 10th December. Word around The Hill is that we might be skiing even sooner; after all, for our intents and purposes Autumn is over.
The calendar says that Winter won’t arrive for another four weeks; Christmas in five. The folks on The Hill, the weather station and the critters concur: the cold has snapped – Winter is here.