Thursday, July 5
42F at 7am. Gadzooks! Keep in mind that whatever temperature I post in the morning, it’s only 3-4 degrees warmer than that in the cabin until I get Fatso up and running. Every muscle is protesting this morning and the cold is NOT helping! I’m missing Dad today as his fire-starting skills far exceed mine.
Clouds were ever-present today, but thin and wispy. Lots of sunny moments and no wind made it a really pleasant day for the most part. I did almost nothing…all day. Although a brief spit of rain came through, it didn’t even wet the deck, so that’s no excuse, I was just tired and sore and lazy. I did finally go down in the afternoon to begin retro-fitting joist hangers. As the dock is already set, that involved bending over double for the first ones until I had enough deck planks in place to sit on. I didn’t get very far before the clouds rolled back in and my poor back said “enough!” Tomorrow I’ll be able to sit and lay across the newly attached deck planks (they’re so pretty!) and will have a little better angle to reach the joists.
Back up at the Cabin, I started a little craft project I’ve been turning over in my mind. I began slicing a little spruce sapling that I cut down last year into ¼” slices that are about 1 1/2” in diameter. When I get enough slices, I hope to make a chess board with them.
The eagle came back twice today to harass the loons. They sounded off like air raid sirens and he flew off without dive-bombing them like he did the other day. The last two nights I’ve heard owls hooting somewhere near the Cabin, but I’m far too lazy to go out in the cold to find them! The moose have been hiding since Dad got here, but one cow finally came through this evening and swam from the blueberry bog to the peninsula right at bedtime.
We have the Olympic swim team of moose here I think. The cows get their young into the water within days or maybe even hours of their birth. The extreme exertion in the icy spring water, together with poor nutrition this year, may have combined to take the life of the little calf, but I think overall it’s a survival skill. Not that bears and wolves don’t swim, but maybe it confuses scent trails or at least discourages easy tracking.
Anyway, after my super busy day (HA!) I’m off to bed…
Friday, July 6
OK what the ?!?!? It was 38F this morning. Holy crap. The skies were crystal clear blue so I actually got up, though I sure wasn’t moving very fast! I cussed myself for not remembering to gather kindling and refill the wood box last night. First thing after the potty run is to tiptoe through the dewy moss in my slippers and jammies, gathering sticks that all feel damp. Sure enough, it took two tries to get Fatso going and even then I had to baby it for awhile.
The gorgeous weather and the fact that I only have two more days here spurred me to get busy on the dock. But then a moose stepped into a patch of green sunlight across the lake and I sat down to watch her, hoping to get a closer shot as she worked her way up the lake towards the lilies. After an hour, I finally gave up and admitted I was stalling!
I took the camera down to the dock with me and got to work. The moose was completely unconcerned about me or my power tools. She grazed her way almost all the way around the lake over the course of the day. I lost sight of her when she got to the camp end and had actually forgotten about her. So I was quite startled by a splash and a loud grunt just a dozen yards or so to my right as I was working on the dock late in the afternoon. There she went across from the blueberry bog to the peninsula and I’m sitting on my behind on the dock, twenty feet from my camera on shore! Sigh…
I finally got into a rhythm retro-fitting the joist hangers, managing to get almost all of them in, as well as installing the decking boards to within a foot of the end of the dock, before my second battery died. I discovered my weight helps to compensate for my lack of upper body strength when it comes to screwing down the deck planks. The first ones kept jumping up as the screw entered the frame boards, no matter how much pressure I tried to apply with my arms. But standing on them – or sitting on them once I got a few done – worked like a champ. Besides saving on my back, it allowed me to dangle my bare feet in the lake as I worked! (Look Ma, no leeches!)
My lack of carpentry skill is showing again in the uneven line at the edges, but I can correct that at some later date if it bothers me enough. For now I’m happy that the joist hangers are in place and that the deck boards hide the worst of my zig-zags!
I’ll fix the last joist and lay the last of the deck boards tomorrow and then will get back to building the second frame, at least until my third battery gives out.
Clouds have rolled in this evening and the promised “chance of showers” has begun. The temp got up to 65F today even with a high haze all day, which was quite comfortable for working. Flies are still my chief nuisance this trip – almost no mosquitoes (which, frankly, is weird.) I had visits all day from bumble bees and dragonflies that were curious about the bright orange tank top I was wearing. (Wow, Harry, did you see that huge flower?) I had my heart set on getting some macro shots of the beautiful little bluet damselflies that kept posing on the cedar decking, but they wouldn’t wait for me to adjust my macro settings. A family of young robins has been racing around the alders on either side of the dock. My boss, Mr. Chitters, came down to supervise my work a couple of times, announced by angry cheeping of the bird residents. (Can’t blame them, he ate two of them this week!) Like me, he loves to sit on the end of the dock and gaze at the lake.
It’s sad to think that I only have two more full days here…