""Nostalgia is a wound that we refuse time to heal," Asa once wrote"
from Dispatches from the Cradle: The Hermit—Forty-Eight Hours in the Sea of Massachusetts
by Ken Liu
My wife and I have found the early spring and early fall weather
a bit chilly here so we added a wood stove, which I have named Lincoln
Logs for no particular reason. We were able to do a lot of the
installation ourselves with the assistance of Helen's brother Ralph
in getting it into the cabin. Ralph also put the chimney up through
the red metal roof which he so lovingly installed in 2011 with Helen's
other brother Brian. The last act of our inspection was to remove a tree
that was too close to the chimney. Ralph duly arrived with his chainsaw
and home made tree jack and removed not 1 but 3 rotten poplars which
over hung the cabin. Much as I hate to remove trees, unlike the beavers that
continue to besiege us, they had to go. However this means that I will no
longer be eye to eye with the local swallows that have claimed the cabin,
while I am standing at the living room window.
For the last three years we have walked the dogs through the
hayfield to the gate and back. Every year we see a number
of snakes on each walk. We also see a few by the cabin.
This year we have seen only a few in the hayfield and none
by the cabin. Until today, I was about to step on the deck when a
large garter snake sailed past me it's front 4 or 5 inches erect,
it was dangling a small frog or toad in it mouth. Wow, small
as it was it encapsulated every film, documentary or story
I have ever seen or read about snakes. Quite the sight.
"Securely sunning in a forest glade,
A mild, well-meaning snake
Approved the adaptations he had made
For safety’s sake.
He liked the skin he had—
Its mottled camouflage, its look of mail,
And was content that he had thought to add
A rattling tail."
from A Fable
by Richard Wilbur