Friday, December 1, 2017

Freeze-up

Just how it is possible to sense freeze-up has occurred from inside the house, in the black morning darkness while still lying in bed, I do not know. Maybe it's a different quiet than usual, the quiet of something large utterly halted and stilled.
When it's grey enough to see I go outside: ice. Before, the lake had an aquatic kind of upward mobility - leaping waves, spray droplets, steaming fog, the sound waves of water waves slapping and lapping -, merging with space. Now the emptiness of sky presses down on it with all its silence, down on the flat scab of ice.
It's merely an ice floe, though, stretching as far as I can see from here. But in the distance grey ice fog persists over still open water. While everything outside feels grave and epic (freeze-up always is), I continue my murderous spree among the blossoming shrew population in the cabin. I had a similar invasion a few years ago, and now they are back. My somewhat reluctant tally stands at eight velvety corpses to date. They are fascinating little critters with their echolocation and toxic saliva, but not the kind of roommates I enjoy. Hopefully I'll stem their flow into the cabin even before winter closes up the rest of the lake.

5 comments:

  1. Not a good situation for sure, I mean the shrews. We have deer mice outdoors but fingers crossed they haven't made it inside in a few years. Our lake is so deep and our weather on the coast so mild that we don't experience freeze-up. That's a good thing because we depend on the lake to get to and from home. - Margy

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  2. Sympathies with the shrews. i have won a battle with the squirrels here but not the war, I'm sure, and our old cabin is currently peaceful.

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    1. Thank you! I hope it's a lasting peace. I had a squirrel earlier that kept coming into the roof, but just as I got the gun out, it decided to spend the winter elsewhere. Or maybe the shrews killed it.

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  3. It has always been amazing to me that where I live here in town I can sense changes outside by sound. I can wake up at night and a deep silence let’s me know that snow has fallen. Even when the temperature drops and I am in my well insulated, furnace fueled house there is a sense of the cold. I can only imagine that you experience these changes on a much deeper level. Give my love to the shrews.


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    1. Isn't it fascinating how that works? I find I can also often sense when large animals are in the area, long before I see or hear them. Must be some very subtle changes in ... I don't even know what.
      Alas, the greetings to the shrews will have to wait - it seems like I've put a stop to the invasion. For now.

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