Friday, March 9, 2012

What will we find when we get there?

It's several weeks yet before many of us venture to our camps, cabins and cottages that are boarded up all winter. Just about two full moons from now, we'll be packing up, and venturing back to the woods to check things out.

Now is the time when we start to wonder what we'll find when we pull into the driveway. We'll smell the air, car windows down, and listen to the crunch of the tires on the gravel driveway festooned with pine needles.The cabin will have been waiting for us, silent and empty, for six months.

What will we find? Will there be dead mice in the wastebasket, lured there by the blob of peanut butter? Will there be live mice? One year we opened the cabin door, and the cat snuck by us. Once inside, he pricked up his ears and scampered up the ladder to the loft, commencing a week of nightly hunts, his favorite entertainment. Last year, we were grateful to find not one, not even a trace of one. Dead or alive.

Will we find piles of dead cluster flies? Yes. Especially since it's been a relatively warm winter. We did put up fly strips in the fall, but I bet they will have been overwhelmed, given the warm days that spur on hatches.

Will we find traces of moose visits? Always. We'll find broken off branches and stems of small birch trees, and piles of tater tot-like moose nuggets near the porch, places a moose might stand, out of the wind and snow. Heck, one of these years I'm sure we'll find some on our porch. Why can't moose enjoy a little porch therapy too?

Will we find piles of chewed up pine cones, courtesy of the red squirrels? Of course.

Will we find that the floating dock is still tied to the tree between the rocks? Yes. It always is.

Of course one worries about break-ins, but our neighbors check in on things for us. We have learned to relax about that somewhat.

And when at last we roll into the driveway and get out of the car and slam its doors, will we find the air so thick with silence that it pulls the tension right out of us?

And when we open the cabin's front door, and see the piles of cluster flies, the bins, the porch furniture piled up, all in the state of chaotic winter storage, at that moment will we find that longed-for smell? Will we breathe deeply, savoring the pungent scent of the wood - maple and hemlock - that has been curing all winter?  I hope so!

Here's a photo of a Jamestown, TN log cabin for sale. It captures the mystery of arriving at a silent cabin by car on a crunchy gravel driveway. Looks like a lovely place. Link to property