It was the birds who called us back to Lone Bobcat Woods.
Many of them are just returning themselves. They call in the spring! And they welcomed us in their own unique perfect ways. A raven couple who took up residence in the past year flew over to check out what we were doing by the well and generator. Robins chittered across the meadow; a woodpecker tapped furiously on the oak near the woodshed. Hawk shrilled, towhee called mournfully, juncoes pipped, pygmy owl hooted like clockwork.
We are now with another community of friends, just as we have been in Seattle, Portland, Tracy and Port Townsend. A non-human community where our souls sink deep into the soil.
But the water isn’t sinking deep! Our neighbor declared we’d had 72 inches of rainfall (normal is 60, and the past two years have been droughts with about half that). Heavy snows have brought down many branches, especially the oaks. One of our tallest heritage oaks toppled over, unmoored from her roots in the super-saturated soils.
In the meadow a silvery meander drains into three successive ponds (image above is Robyn’s pond). “Bear Bed Springs” is a creek! We rejoice to see these ponds stay for more than a day or so. They last lingered here in the wet winter of 1999 when I drew the 37 Views from Lone Bobcat Woods.
It took only an hour along the road with the chainsaw for us to clear away dead branches and leaning trees so we could drive Little House in. No big deal. The water system required a cap for a broken pipe. The solar electric system seems to be quite fine: batteries were well trickle-charged over the eight months without any electrical loads. The house fared well. We’d left two skylights open, which let the house breathe. Not musty, just a little dusty.
We parked Little House and within minutes I was cooking dinner. Thankful for a gentle re-entry with sweet welcomes from our natural community while the sun turned deep scarlet between the black tree trunks out the back window.