So I spent the last two days at our small cabin in the woods of northern Maine. We call them “camps” up this way. It’s not much. A small main cabin with a few outbuildings and a shed. The gravel road that leads down to lake was just re-opened for the season. It’s open for most of the winter, but is closed for a few weeks during “mud season” so that the road can dry out and firm up after it thaws. Not much going on here this time of year. The water still has a skim of ice on it and there are still remnants of snow drifts in the shady spots. That said, i actually prefer this time of year. The VERY small window between super cold and super buggy.
Yes, when temps get just a little warmer, up come the black flies and mosquitoes. These troublesome insects truly rule the woods for a week or two until the frogs, bats and anything else that eats bugs decides to resurface too. I also like the peace and quiet. With no other man made noises, I become hyper sensitive to the natural sounds around me. The knock knock knock of a woodpecker, the gurgling ice in the lake, song birds and of course the maddening cries of the loons. I was quite surprised to already hear them on the lake yesterday. The thought crossed my mind that the calls were extra ferocious sounding because the birds were actually swimming in water that only 10 days ago was frozen solid. I could only keep my hands in it briefly to wash them before pulling them back in pain.
Anyway, I feel good about what I accomplished this weekend. The area around the camp is now cleared of leaves and branches and I was able to burn a large pile of brush (safely thanks to the constant rain) that has been a bit of an eyesore for a few seasons now. I arrived back into town each night tired, dirty, wet, hungry and a bit sore…but better for it. This is my Walden and I am grateful for the opportunity to experience it for myself on occasion. Tomorrow, I’ll return home with the sights, sounds and smells once again refreshed in my mind.