Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Cat Who Walked in Snow

I miss Zoe so much. Yesterday morning, she was a lively young cat.

We took our nearly daily walk to get the paper. There was fresh snow, so it was my turn to make a track. Zoe followed in my footsteps.

This morning, I noticed that she would make 2 tracks on every one of mine. Really, this meant that she was taking 4 steps for one of mine, because she has twice as many legs.

Aside: the tiny specs in one of the pictures are tiny, flea like bug. They come out after a fresh snow and settles on the ground by the millions.

Farewell to Zoe the Cat

Zoe was only about 14 months old when she died quietly after accidentally drinking poison.

She was a special cat. Let me tell you why.

We should go on walks most every day, except when it was really, really cold. Then, she would go and hide when she saw me get dressed to go out.

I would carry her to get the paper. After I got the paper, she would struggle to get out of the carry sling. Once on the ground, she lead the way on the circuitous path back. She knew every twist and turn of the trail, even if it was covered in snow.

It was amazing to watch her lead the way back, especially in the snow. However, if the snow was to deep, I would have to lead and make way for her by breaking the snow first, step by step.

IN the summer, I once saved her from two dogs that were tracking her by picking her up and holding her tight. After that, she always trusted me to protect her.

Today, I fell short. I was to tired and distracted to be mindful to protect her. I'm not quite sure what she drank, but it must have killed her in an hour or two.

She had a favorite patch of grass on the way back trail. She would always stop and see if per chance it had a bit of green in the winter. She also loved eating goji berry vine leaves, and sometimes liked eating the berries too.

If she started to lag behind on the trail, I would start to go back to get her. When she saw me do this, she would run past me while making a trilling sound. She would then again take the lead.

She was starting to gain a bit of extra weight lately, I was getting worried that even Science Diet cat food was not healthy enough for her. Cats are not made to eat corn!

Zoe was a very sociable cat. She loved everyone and only know love.

I felt a rapport with her like no other cat.

I miss her so.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Millions and Millions of... bugs? In winter?

While walking through my woods this morning, I noticed that the snow that fell a couple of days ago was covered with a thin layer of black "dust."

However, when I put my finger down in the dust, the "dust" motes would jump out of the way, like flees.

I wonder what kind of bug this is, and what kind of life cycle it has if it is blanketing the snow with millions of themselves.

In other news: I can see from the tracks and scat that the elk came through the yard in the last 12 hours.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The first 100 Robins of the Winter Solstice?

We're finally getting some milder weather after a week of extreme cold. It was below zero every night.

This afternoon, the air was filled with robins. They would flit from tree to tree, generally heading south. There must have been hundreds of them.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It's Friggin' Cold

Tonight and last night the temperature has been sea-sawing around 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

It's cold, but not cold enough to kill the pine beetles.

In other news, I saw a small heard of elk yesterday at about the 7 mile mark on Magnolia