In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A cold spell

On Monday we had an appointment in Liverpool. We don't make many appointments since our crossing the harbour is always dependent on the weather. But we had this one to keep. The day was calm and bright but very cold. It was fortunately a high tide when we pulled away from our ice-encrusted dock, since Greg immediately realized that the boat's gears were frozen. We scrambled to reattach Chopper to the dock before we drifted too far away into the cove. I jumped back onto the dock as Greg threw icy lines to me.  Eventually we gave up the effort to thaw out the gear box and trudged home. 

Since we had only been gone for a little while it didn't take too long to get the woodstove going and warm up the living room again. We turned on the propane space heater in the breezeway. We use it sparingly, since it uses up a lot of propane. But all our pipes are over there, in what is otherwise the unheated part of the house. It is cheaper to keep the pipes from freezing in the first place than to get a plumber to repair them later. During last week's cold spell, the pipes froze overnight and we were lucky to thaw them out without any breakage. We don't intend to let that happen again. 

Yesterday was cold but bright, with enough wind to get the turbine going. We had lots of energy. Today it's snowing again. The weather report had called for flurries but this is not a flurry. The snow is falling gently and slowly and steadily like snow in a children's book about winter. Because the air is so cold, today's snow looks like the fine airy drifts of wool the sheep leave in the brambles as they brush by them. There is no sun or wind. We will have to conserve our energy today.  Our use of electricity is very hand to mouth that way. 

Yesterday we tracked fox prints up from the bog right to the front porch. Greg thinks the space beneath the porch is one of its places of refuge.  You can also see the prints going away from the porch and back to the bog. I'm not completely sure it is a fox but it is surely some creature that walks the way a fox walks.  I wonder if I will ever catch a glimpse of the creature itself, or only see the signs of it.   

Image in the public domain. I hope the fox doesn't leap into the previous post and get the chickens. What a mess we'd have then. 

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