Thursday, February 21, 2013
Some more winter
Recovery from the flu has been slow for me. I still feel quite lacking in energy. Last week I started back on regular activities, exercise class and choir practice twice a week. That on top of regular dog walks was quite exhausting. The last choir practice I attended I had to stop about half way through, sometime in the middle I stopped being able to read the music (just looked like a a whole lot of polka dots and lines to my stunned brain) and my voice quickly followed. I stayed, hoping somehow what we were practicing would sink in on some level. This week is reading week at the university so that affects everything around here, both the exercise class and choir practice are on hiatus and I am relieved.
Winter continues, another blizzard last weekend. Not a huge amount of additional snow, but lots of blowing snow and ice and power outages. I was surprised the other day to find out that most of the town lost power for 10 hours or more. My power remained! I later talked to a neighbour who used to work at the post office and he said that he thought our street was on the same grid as the university and that's why we didn't lose power. Apparently the university has better power service.
Today Hapi and I went up the Gaspereau River. At the head of the trail a wood stick about 4 feet long was leaning against a tree, I picked it up as I had forgotten to bring my walking stick. I am glad I did.
The regular trail very quickly petered out, there's a section near the start where you have to wade through the Gaspereau and that section was such a mess of open water, ice slabs and snow hiding the breaks between that I didn't want to risk it. Hapi had no problem with it though. I backtracked a bit and found a trail of footsteps heading up the steep bank around that section. The bank is very steep and in normal weather I would not have attempted it but the snow was crisp and icy and the footsteps provided toeholds along the slope. With the help of my wooden walking stick and the icy toeholds, I headed up the bank.
At a certain point there was a brook flowing down that I had to cross, Hapi headed straight down that brook and suddenly a large bird wing appeared in front of her. She stopped, nose to beak with a hawk sitting on the edge of the brook half way down the slope. The hawk didn't move, other than to open its wing in front of Hapi, I guess to make itself look a little larger. I thought it must be injured or sick, it did not attempt to fly or even walk away. I called Hapi away and the hawk folded its wing and watched me. The slope was too steep for me to attempt to reach it, I felt sorry for the bird.
The footsteps now headed downwards and I reached the regular trail on the other side of the impassable section. I tried to walk back to see the hawk from below, however I did break through the ice and snow in one place into the river, not far enough to cover my boot though. I could see the hawk sitting there, it did not turn to look at me or Hapi, just sat motionless by the brook facing away from us. It did not look well.
We continued on and it was very pretty there, the snow and ice made it look quite different and the trail was very faint, not a lot of people come there in the wintertime. After about half an hour more I turned to head back, I was quite exhausted. Hapi immediately disappeared. When I walk up the river she stays close by I think because she doesn't want to lose track of me, but when I turn around to head back she knows where I am and where I am going so she no longer feels the need to keep an eye on me. So for most of the walk back I didn't see or hear her, I didn't know if she was ahead of or behind me. Sometimes I'd catch a glimpse of her through the trees out on the ice covering the river, she trots along oblivious of the danger, hunting for critters to chase or capture.
When we got back to where the hawk was, it was gone. I hope it was able to fly away.
I left the wooden stick by the tree at the trailhead for the next person, it was handy to have it, especially on the steep detour where we saw the hawk.