Pheasants, Maples, Next Winter

Playing catch-up around here after a week on the road.  Doing some writing of course, some reading (still dipping into Montaigne now and then), paying bills, cleaning out car, reacquainting myself with deadlines (at least two things due in the next week).

But also some good outside time.  All of a sudden I’m seeing and hearing cock pheasants.  Last year they seemed to disappear, but in the past few days I’ve seen several, including a real beauty at the end of the driveway and this morning another at the edge of the yard.  These guys all had fine tailfeathers (unlike Mister Big Shot, the tail-challenged luvah I wrote about in Coop).

Our friends Gale and Jan came to tap the maples.  It’s been weird here…straight cold, then straight warm.  Not quite right for the sap to run.  It has been below freezing the last couple of nights, but so far we’ve had pretty meager production.  Still, the two-year-old loves to catch a drop on her finger and taste it.  The look on her face as she tells me it is “tang-gee…no, sweet!” is worth it, syrup or no.

Yesterday afternoon I split a bunch of wood.  Still needs to be stacked, but at least it’s under the woodshed roof.  Feels good to look at it there, knowing it will be ready next January, even as the last of this year’s snow lingers behind the pole barn (and, apparently, more to come this weekend).

And then supper with my wife and tykes.  Simple, good.

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